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Past Lives

The thunder at 3am woke me & up from
a half-awake haze I heard the littlest one's voice
There is big growling outside. Yes
I told her, took her hand to my belly.
Of the things one never has to teach a kid
one is that the Floor Is Molten Lava,
as universal as eating crayons;
to be caught perched atop mama's
tiger-oak dresser or hurriedly
rehanging the drapes you tore down falling
an attempt to flatten yourself to the window
inching toward a strategically placed
footstool. I found mine adding the spin
of Hot Potato, but balanced on islands
pillows over liquid rock. One bad catch &
it's all over. No one taught me.
I never had to explain how to imagine myself out
of a rained-in apartment & into an adventure
Before I retired that night, I crouched
outside the door to my son's bedroom
to hear him sing along with the radio. His voice
was extravagant, florid. He was no longer
in his bed, waiting to fall asleep. He
was shaking a stadium. The crowd was roaring.

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concretekiss

August 2010

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