I now know that time
does not move
in the same way
without a difference

for instance
at the checkup
while you reach each
milestone at a year

such as eating things
by yourself and pulling 
to stand with
a helping hand

how can I be sure 
I myself have not
passed by some
demarcation designated

by the fullness of 
my belly after crawling 
to chase you down
the hallway out of breath

does that song still mean
as much now as it did then?
how many more will pass
before you get to know them?

do the years spent
in limbo without any trace
of your premonition
still feel as desperate?

in fact yes they do
witness these bread crumbs
I continue to brush
off my sleeve out of rest

the dishes that need solving
each evening after repast
how is it that you have
some idea of a spoon?

why do I hold mine
with such messy assurance
as if I have some gift
imparted by the passing hours

turned into years
I had no idea were mine
even as I gave them away
to wherever time goes

these morsels you grasp
so easily now in your hand
sometimes they reach your mouth
if not they are caught

by grace in a bib above your lap

Year One

A bit surprised by how intensely
the memories come flooding back—
is this why some stay the same
age you were when you met them?

The brilliance of sun today resembling
the euphoria of the drive home
after days in the hospital whose hours
remain somewhat unaccounted for

What did we do when we what did we eat
in those hours when breaths were new
and awkward cries holding your held
atoms radically assembled into grateful arms

Today as the rest of the world wore
unnecessarily fancy hats you tumbled toward
the iPad turning over to see the other side
such familiar faces facing your brightness

Surely they must be there in the flesh
magnetically attached to these radiant absences
how used to living you must be this longest
first year we could not imagine what we did

Where we went who we were going to be
before you suddenly appeared on the other side

Brown Bear

By the last page 
pointing to each figure
she holds my finger

directs it out of order
to hear the sound
images again

I wonder what she sees
my hand or her own
repeating syllables

familiar yet different
signified by shapes
line and color

associated with world
somewhere beyond
the page within reach

Transitive Property

Appropriate to arrive 
at a lack of words
to describe the child

speaking every syllable
in existence
at the presence of

faces on a screen
namely those who spoke
her life into being

the transitive property
of words before
coalescing into

definite statements
pass through this gate
of babbling

for the sake of all
consonants and vowels
to inhabit her activity

knowing all unspoken
will find their voice
in the course of time

the child is still getting used to


The worry is that some worry
whether they are ready to have a child—

the problem is that that is nothing
to worry about the problem comes

when you realize you aren’t ready
for them to wake up from a nap

one day and suddenly bound across
rooms and hallways stretching for

any object living or stationary
without regard for decorum or

the probability of physical limitation
anything within sight is apparently

within reach and why not since
you can only be afraid of what

you cannot see—remember
when they were an ultrasonic pattern

on a printout did we really expect
the tables to be overturned? In fact we did

Pull to Stand

Watching someone attempt 
to do something
for the first time

knowing it may be possible
a leap into mirror unknown
reaching for the attainable

in a hopefully safe environment
nevertheless with
swathes of saliva

on mesh or fragile plastic
guiding the way
tells me everything about

instinct and tenacity
resilience and strength
growth and stamina

I could ever hope to know
in a shining tiny human
it also in no uncertain terms

really freaks me out

Okay Chorale

Today was the day we situated 
the play yard around the living space
which the child decided was ripe
for launching legs and limbs in rapid
articulation from edge to edge
past the barrier to the forbidden
bare floor zone leading to the precipice
of the stairway and the kitchen
after some deliberation I decided
it was not appropriate to call it
a play yard perhaps more of an okay
corral it will make do for a child
who suddenly is unsatisfied with place
which she would replace with motion
how unlike I think as I stand in
the kitchen washing dishes scraping
bits of food she should not eat yet
I pause sobbing into the suds thinking
of the moments almost a year ago
when for thirty hours she deigned
an interregnum of motion having
determined the spot in which she had
been placed for nine months or so
perfectly suited to her situation
it was decided it was time for her
to arrive however without her immediate
consent I sat in the hallway helpless
not that I would have much to do
in either case in my fabric footies
and impromptu antiseptic attire
having no idea if she if she would be
okay if any of us would be okay
if this world she so boundlessly springs
forth into having no idea of her
destination will be okay all I can do
is wipe the rinse away and place
the dishes in their appropriated places
and collect my thoughts hoping
this space will be okay we will be okay
we will all be okay

Growing Teeth

If nothing else
let this day be remembered
for upon the uncomfortable
fitfulness of nap time
interrupted by cries
irresistible to human ears
attached to my cranium
I picked up the child
who let me become acquainted
for an hour or so with
the personification of sleep
which I in my infinite wisdom
accepted as did the cat
who insisted on joining us on my lap

Attachment Theory

Begins with maybe crying
for a minute when not
so long ago sleep came
without a second thought

Occasionally crawling
into distracted arms
for the presence lacking

I’ve not been tracking
each independent milestone
except when the obvious
becomes apparent

The truth is each child
will let you know
their own mind
when they want to

They somehow know
saying goodbye
is the habit of a lifetime
and can wait

a little longer

Factor of Wow

At this point the position 
of awe
has become her face’s default

even when encountering
something expected
in a mirror or hallway

the cats flashing their tails
during story time
a page followed by another

page ensuing in examination
of the spine
inspecting the collocation

as a matter of course
some books stay
open even when they close

their memory imprinted
like creases
increasing on either cheek

evidence of how
the only response to suddenly

being alive is wow