Tuesday, July 10, 2007

First things first

They counted fingers,
Numbered toes.
All present, no extras.
The all new bright hope
As full of promise
As a new day, a blank sheet.

As time went on, though,
Something failed to connect,
Some blankness in the eyes
Or mind.
Oh, the bitter recriminations,
Guilt, second-guessing!
Is it from your side or mine?
Something we did
Or somehow failed to do?

How the heart hurts
Each time
A well-meaning stranger
Or a teacher sends
A note.

That bright, sweet promise
Becomes a bitter taste.
The too-visible
Incarnation of some
Grievous fault of mine.

And yet that heart tie
Forged in the womb
Presses you to my soul:
All barbed,
All your own.

Betsy McKenzie
July 10, 2007


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