Tuesday, February 1, 2011

After dinner

Will you give her a bath?--
Yes--
I'll do the dishes--
Yes.
I hear splashes, imagine
her arms, tubby and slick,
the heater humming,
my husband cupping warm water
in his hands, rinsing her.

I balance one last plate
on top of the clean tumble of pots,
and hear a cry-bark from the bathroom.
She's hungry--
Yes, I'm coming--
Yes.

The bath has left her pink,
the yellow flannel of her pajamas
damp-tacked to her thighs.
I lift her, and smell her yellowness and pinkness.
Are you hungry?--
She chuckles, angrily.
When I bring her to me, she is defiantly
solid.  Her mouth pistons against me
until the milk comes, and she loosens.

Is she eating?--
Shhh--
(Yes).

She turns her face up to me.
It is the face of a house,
curtains still open though it is past twilight,
and I am the stranger out on the sidewalk,
looking past a darkening lawn,
into the amber-lit windows, at the people inside.

Who are you?--
Who are you?--
Yes.

5 comments:

  1. Came via Jody's Facebook page. Beautiful poem, especially the last sentiment as you gaze upon her face like a stranger into the windows of a house. Beautiful.

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