Becoming a Child
I am a baby. I speak like a baby, all present tense and broken. I see instead of
hear: Soft faces, patient nods.
I am a child. I try to read, sound things out. I donít know all the letters
though. I donít get all the sounds right.
I am small. I bob in the waves and I donít wear make-up. Strangers on the shore
keep an eye out for me making certain I donít drift away.
A boy takes my hand. I am not sure his father urged him to. A boy takes my hand,
leads me out to a place past where the waves break. Silver fish hide in my
I am bigger now. I walk on my own. Too proud to ask directions but itís a good
place to be lost.
I am small again and thirsty. Coke in a bottle from a sweaty cooler like the
first time I was young. Sweaty money in my sweaty palm, she only takes the right
I am subject to strangers. Strangers are kind. I am grateful to feel so
helpless, a child in a world that loves children.
I may grow old here. I may learn to read and write.
I may become a child, aided and forgiven.