Matt Curiale


Without her mother, a baby has no reflection
and you- so sensitive to the blanche
of our daughters’ moods,
can articulate the spaces of their silence and,
are in their spoons,
their mirrored rattles,
reflected in the glittering gibberish of their songs.  

I, not so deft,
can rough any edge with impatience,
find often that the things I say,
are not the things I’d ever thought I’d say,
feel sometimes like an observer
a stand in
a passenger,
know that I’m not the only one
who blinks at the world saying,
“Is this my life?”
then scrambles savagely
to hold all of it in his arms.   

You know, they walk like you.
They dance like you.
And if you absently scratch your head
while leaning against the table
Mae, who today wanted to wear her hair
just the way you wear yours,
scratches her head thoughtfully,
and Violet, barely in command
of her fat little arms
waves her hand
triumphantly above her ear
in salute to her sister’s
salute to her mother,  

then I, awash in so much love
it’s like a kind of grief,
swallow and swallow
clear the table
shaking my head.  

You are their truth.
I get to be the hero prince
in our daily plays -
but you are their truth.
Their truth.
And oh, thank god. 

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