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I am bored already.
Mom believes baby’s sleeping,
But I’m lying here on my back
In this used crib they picked up
Down the street at Salvation Army.

Eyes open, limbs comfy, but I feel like
Gregor Samsa. Except everyone says
I’m cute and cuddly, like a little babykins.
Thank God my parents are too sensible to
Use language like that, though they do
Call me ‘Peanut’ from time to time.
I guess I can live with that one.

I suppose I could cry – that always brings
One of them through the door.
Then they go through their Baby Cried
Protocol: diaper wet, diaper soiled,
Baby hungry, baby uncomfortable for any reason,
Baby cranky because he just woke up, baby bored.
I expect we will go through that protocol a lot.

So I’d prefer not to cry – that way
They leave me alone for a while.
My mom always comes in
To check on me after a bit,
So why not enjoy some time for myself
While it’s quiet down there?
I wonder what she’s doing?

We live in an apartment in Minneapolis.
It was already a big city in 1954.
Twin St. Paul sits across the river.
I look across the nursery, the radiator
Clanks and hisses under the window.
My God it’s cold here in the winter!
Ten thousand lakes, and they’re all frozen.