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Poetry from the 3:15 Experiment: ant ant ant

March 7, 2011

Tuesday August 2, 2005
3:15am home

ant ant ant he says
bal la la ba la la ba la la
flow-er flow-er flow-er

more ants butterflies and flowers
are on the back
of the journal too
flipping it over
there they are on the front again

inside broke broke broke
he says about a torn page
when he comes across
my entry he says drawing

drawing drawing
he is 20 months and then some
sighing moaning groaning
thrashing out of his blankets
whimpering

it is hard not to live
hovered over him
constantly checking on him
but there he is
huddled into a corner
of his crib in his
truck jammies
his head butting the stiles
his side against the top
his feet tucked up
more blankets under him
than on top of him

I had never seen
a child in child’s pose
before I had a
child of my own
I never saw how completely
they can pull themselves
up into themselves all tucked in
never saw how tortoise like
they retract their arms their legs
the soles of the feet
slipping in under the torso
only a few toes poking out

With his froggie blanket
covering from his ears to his toes
he quiets now
no need for hovering
I gaze at him anyway
store his image up
until morning again
time to hold him and kiss him
feel his sweet warmth again

One day he will know
how to pull the blankets up
onto his shoulders
about the time he stops
wanting to wear his truck jammies
with powerful diesel engines

too soon he will know
how to wrap his tongue
around butterfly and there will be
no more bal la la la las

Robert Peake inspired me to post this poem by using an excerpt of it in his wonderful review of my poetry collection, “Middle of the Night Poems From Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son” coming out in a paperback edition on 3/15 from en theos press. I’ll have the book that night at my featured reading at the Artists Union Gallery, 330 So. California St. Ventura CA 93001 as well as at the book launch party on St Patrick’s Day at the El Jardin Courtyard on Main in downtown Ventura, and at Ojai’s WordFest on March 19 and 25.

For more poetry, catch the Monday Poetry Train!

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