The first is not occluded, with the cat
that leapt the windowsill at night, to lie
on the bed with her in the summer heat.
And then in 1933 they moved
to the new house on Alexandria Pike:
a wide lawn, the boxwoods growing huge
all through her youth. She skipped a grade in school,
passed out of childhood into the high school
and the Depression and the waiting war.

And in the second the joy of small things:
delight in sunshine or the taste of food,
a grandchild’s voice, a fully-ripened peach.
Each day is fresh, a whirl of new events,
intimate strangers, unfamiliar friends.
Surprised by restraints when she tries to stand,
she accepts the hands that have to help her walk.

Why only two? Why not three or more?
Perhaps for her another childhood waits...
The early sunlight finds a field in dew
across a hedge of honeysuckle, and
will draw bright beads on the morning glories.

She had to make another child for that.

 July 19, 1996

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