Thursday, September 24, 2020

Orion in Branches

The childhood of your child is a strange kind
Of loss—there’s the infant you knew a year,
Gone for good, and then the chatty toddler—

Those were whole, rounded beings you’ll never
Encounter in the round again. Some days,
You’ll be surprised by how you ache for them.

You have a reward each time, the new child
Emerging gradually from the lost ones,
The kindergartner, the grade-schooler,

The surprisingly tall, thoughtful pre-teen
About to descend into the maelstrom,
The imago as anticipation.

But, if you happen to rise at dawn, leafing
Through memories while the stars disappear,
You may catch yourself mourning the living.

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