With fists, with words, with kindness
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At ten months my daughter turns the tv on,
the volume up loud. She is not the same
as when she was pulled purple from the womb.
At first the changes were small, she’d grasp
fingers, make a fist. Now she’s up
before I notice, off across the floor.
Playing with her, I see in the mirror
a man. He is not the man I uncover
when shaving. He is younger,
not much older than a child.
Each day when we play I see him
and each day he looks a little younger;
in a few years he’ll be no older than
my daughter. Yet, he won’t be
the boy I was, frightened by the dark,
by the racket crickets make.
He’ll be different, he has her to play with.
As she grows I grow less afraid.
In a year or fifty, when I die,
he’ll be reentering the womb:
we’ll slide into darkness together.
By then, my daughter, if she’s lucky,
will have discovered that other
child in her. Then they too,
will meet in darkness
where there is no other.