Poems & Essays

18 Jan

Modeling Speech

General/Column No Response

Once,
I carried the conversation
as serenely as I carried you,
content against my clavicle,
your downy hair kissing
the underside of my chin.

We’d stand by the window
naming colors in the yard:
yellow flowers, red birds, green grass.
Your tiny lips pensive
as I prattled and pointed.

I wish it felt like that today
sitting side by side
in a windowless room,
awaiting the train to
your senior year of college.

The stubble over your lip
moves in single syllables:
Fine. Good. Nice.

Discouraged,
I stop asking questions,
revert to cooing:
We’re installing a new sink. . . .
The Holdens are coming for dinner. . .
We’re thinking of joining a gym. . .

Modeling speech for my baby,
like any good mother.

 

Jacqueline Jules is the author of the poetry chapbooks Field Trip to the Museum from Finishing Line Press and Stronger Than Cleopatra from ELJ publications. Her poetry has appeared in over 100 journals including Inkwell, Soundings Review, The Innisfree Poetry Journal, Gargoyle, Imitation Fruit, Calyx, Connecticut River Review, and Pirene’s Fountain. She is also the author of 30 books for young readers including the Zapato Power series and Never Say a Mean Word Again. Visit her online at www.jacquelinejules.com.

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Like a Sweater in the… January 18, 2016 Horizontal Time January 18, 2016