Tag Archives: poem about a baby

Last Small Gift


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Last Small Gift
for Zackie, 1982-1984

He always noticed high things––
airplanes, kites.
His long fingers
pointed to small things,
moving things, things that needed to be eaten,
people who should leave the room.

He gave second chances.
Even after I bit his finger
along with the cookie he offered as a token of friendship,
and even after the stout and lengthy 
cry of outrage in his mother’s arms,
in two or more additional meetings,
he was willing to start over again,
this time from the middle,
at becoming friends.

He never held out his arms to me.
He never cried when I left the room.
Yet he shared with me,
along with a glimpse of a heart that could still break,
all of the pleasures first experienced
which I had once felt,
and some long glances where neither looked away.

Usually,  I felt that in between his own needs
he knew everything there was to know about me,
this wise baby,
so that when he rejected me,
I knew it was for good reason.
And when he accepted me,
I felt I’d gained character.
Maybe I found it irresistible
that I had to earn his allegiance,
so that I felt flattered by it—
like the first girl chosen from the bench at a dance.

This baby
that I never knew well enough.
This baby who never noticed the toys I brought him.
This baby who reigned
from the corner of my sofa
under his pointed birthday hat,
never learned to say my name.

But he held something old for me in his eyes.
Promises, perhaps,
that some of the mysteries are left in a life
where most of the presents have been opened,
revealing objects less precious
than the surprises they came wrapped up in.


For dVerse Poets Open Link Night

What’s Wrong with Your Mom?

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What’s Wrong with Your Mom?

My husband’s language is so curt that lately I’ve been wondering
if these moody epithets that he has been thundering
have anything at all to do with my consistent blundering.

Ashtrays in the ice box and ice cubes in a puddle
on the shelf where glasses go? I fear I’m in a muddle.
I see him with the children, over there in a big huddle.

Now and then, they look at me. I think they are suspicious.
It’s me they are discussing, and their looks are not auspicious.

But still they feel that questioning me would not be judicious.

Why don’t they remember that  I’ve been this way before
exactly three times in the past, and this is number four?
By now I am surprised it hasn’t become family lore

that mother always gets this way during a certain time
when thinking gets confusing and moods turn on a dime,
but in the end it’s worth it as the outcome is sublime!

It seems I cannot  count on them to interpret the clues,
so I think that it is time that I give them all the news

that will solve the puzzle and resolve Daddy’s blues.

They see me coming towards them and it looks like they might scatter,
but they realign their faces as though nothing is the matter
until they hear these words that I contribute to their chatter:

“The secret that I’ve kept from you is worrying as a blister.
This surprise that I’m carrying might be our first young mister,
although I know you would not mind if it were a fourth sister!”


Prompt words today are language, puddle, auspicious and wondering. Here are the links:

New Father: Dec 3, 2018

New Father

He imagines well the cradle and a new mother bending
over the small infant that she would be tending.
The baby’s arms reached up, his young wife’s arms extending
out to lift it up, so tender in their fending.
The eager father wending
home from his day of vending,
his yearned-for entrance pending,
each mile closer mending
their separation’s rending,
more satisfaction lending
toward their  happy ending.


Up at 5 to catch a plane to Acupulco. The prompt was “pending”