2013-12-06T20:37:08-08:00December 6th, 2013|Parenthood|

The lady at the checkout

You woke up at five o’clock this morning
and nothing I said persuaded you to sleep

I want to be awake because I love you

this made me cry
a sloppy mix of love and exhaustion

I tried all my tricks
my boring story about waves
my Indian chants
pretending we needed to be quiet
to avoid lions

but just when I thought
I had lured you back inside the night
you would poke the quiet with a question

mama, does dead mean forever
like until after Christmas

so we get up
and your dad helps you eat porridge
between fits of unreasonable demands
like wanting him to be taller

and finally I make my eyebrows go really high
and announce that we’re going to rush
so we can be first at daycare this morning
which you agree is a great idea
because you won’t have to share

and after I’ve dropped you off
I go buy floss
and the lady at the checkout
has a sad face
as she looks at your little sister
all bundled up on my chest
and says

you think it’s hard when they’re young
but it’s nothing compared
to how hard it is
when they leave.

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