Sorry for the lapse in having a Monday poem. I’ll extend one little day into May if no one minds.
Here’s a piece by Marie Howe. I don’t remember if I thought it or wrote it here on the site, but lately I’ve been poring over her book, What the Living Do. Those poems recount her brother’s death and touch on family history, other friends, marriage. None of them was exactly right for this project, but it is a fabulous book. This poem, Courage, comes from her next book, The Kingdom of Ordinary Time. It takes me back to the days when the girls were little and we spent time at the park. Also the way little kids discover and use language. Enjoy!
by Marie Howe
I’m helping my little girl slide down the pole next to the slide-and-bridge
when a little boy walks up and says, Why are you helping that young person
do something that’s too dangerous for her?
Why do you say it’s too dangerous? I say
And he says, She’s too young.
And I say, How old are you? And he says, four and a half.
And I say, Well, she’s three and a half
When he comes back a little later he says, I’ll show you how it’s done, and
climbs up the ladder and slides down the pole.
Then he says, She’s too young. What happens is that when you get older you
Then he pauses and looks at me, Are you brave?
Brave? I say, looking at him.
Are you afraid of Parasite 2? he says.
And I say, What’s Parasite 2?
And he walks away slowly, shaking his head.