Wednesday, February 27, 2008

a poem for parenthood

I've got a poem, only, for my daughter's anaphylactic reaction yesterday.

it’s not the walnut’s fault. On its
deciduous perch--warbly,
dry--its done nothing but crest on breezes flinging
between ground and branch: your baby play,

it’s juvenile state. The shells fall
out when they are grown,
like your teeth, first erupting from the gums,
then eject. I love

you more than Jupiter’s Acorn 'though Jupiter’s
shells and trunk seem sturdier than your limbs
at least right now, least while quivering
on the hard-wood desk

and your stomach, half-shelled from your shirt
was pearly is now scarlet distended
like a saggy half-blown balloon you ate
the acorn, you know good and evil,

shall not die, but are on death’s watch
near enough to death’s treasure, the X-
tree in the garden, ground beneath littered
with sturdy dull orbs, innocent

fruit, I said. scapegoat. It's my fault
only—mine that your alveoli clenched and burned
your scarlet-skin. story:
a walnut on its perch, shackled, plucked

shelled and revealed in
coffee-hues and milk.
factory. market. home. then:
I put walnuts in cookies. I put cookies

in your lunch-box. you shelled a walnut
with your teeth, nibbled
twice. it was crunchy you said when
I found your capillaries aflame, millions

star-lit burning on histamine, noxious
gas I prefer God keep
for consuming Novae, rather
than obliterating you, your life

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