Is calming as anything I know. To fall
Asleep, her books arranged above your head,
Is to admit that you have never been
So tired, so enchanted by the spell
Of your grown body. To feel small instead
Of blocking out the light, to feel alone,
Not knowing what you should or shouldn’t feel,
Is to find out, no matter what you’ve said
About the cramped escapes and obstacles
You plan and face and have to call the world,
That there remain these places, occupied
By children, yours if lucky, like the girl
Who finds you here and lies down by your side.
"After Disappointment" by Mark Jarman, from Bone Fires: New and Selected Poems. © Sarabande Books, 2011.
Art credit: "Waldorf/Steiner dolls on my daughter's bed," photograph by Jacinta Gleeson Munn (originally color).