Make Way [a poem]

I wrote this for Walter’s first birthday. I never got around to getting it nicely printed and framed, but I shared it with his dad. I’ll share it with you, today. It’s not finished, so I’d love feedback from any other poetry geeks. It’s been a long time since I wrote poetry. But here you are:

Make Way

 

Never–until I became

a mother–did I imagine

a poem about ducklings.

 

I collect images,

phrases while he sleeps, still

needs me next to him. (Why?) Ducks:

fuzz   yellow   squawk

 

My one-day-soon to

talk, walk,

yellow-haired boy, a year

ago arrived with nowhere

but my arms to be.

 

We laughed at combs for

you. The fuzz laughs, grows

out, up, forward,

never down,

short in back, flat only

when sleep works

you hard, the sweat beads

under, darkens, holds

such fine hair, the comb

still does nothing

without water.

 

“It is not,” I told

your dad “a song

about dead ducks,

they grow up, that’s why.”

 

But Mama Duck

haunts me, calling her

babies, ten, five,

until not one–my one, only:

squawk, walk, over

the hills and far away.

 

My poetry will

“make way for ducklings”

when McCloskey and you

ask, and songs, noise-making

toys, I swore–Never!–

to see flapping

hands, arms, joy

bursting around

me in waves.

 

Your squawks will make

way for words; your crawling

with flapping, loud hands

on the floor, fast

knees, will turn until you

run (not fast, if genes

predict), until you need

shoes for those fat,

splayed, long, delicious feet.

 

Thanks to the blog Let the Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore for this photo of the Boston Public Garden Ducklings, inspired by Robert McCloskey's classic children's book, Make Way for Ducklings.
Thanks to the blog Let the Tide Pull Your Dreams Ashore for this photo of the Boston Public Garden Ducklings, inspired by Robert McCloskey’s classic children’s book, Make Way for Ducklings.

 

2 Comments

  1. ESW said:

    Very sweet and thanks for the image credit! xx

    January 16, 2014
    Reply
    • Anne-Marie said:

      I just read about someone being sued for posting an image, even though she did credit the photographer, so it’s really nice of you to leave this note! Lovely timing. <3

      January 18, 2014
      Reply

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