Poems & Essays

20 Mar

Second Time Around

General/Column No Response

The past is a book left out in the rain: ink blurs,
pages fuse together. –Eric Pankey

When we were introducing our first son,
a co-worker commented, I can’t remember
my kids ever being that small.
And since his kids were older, since he was a man,
I thought, I would be different.
How could anyone forget the newness of a baby?

When my mother brings my first son,
the one I worry doesn’t eat enough,
the one I fretted over at each doctor appointment weigh-in,
to meet his baby brother in the hospital,
I’m shocked. I heft him up into my arms,
rub my fingers over his hands, and kiss his head,
I look at my second son, at just a day old,
only two ounces heavier than my first born,
and I think, how was he ever this small?
Didn’t I treasure him enough?
Didn’t I watch intently, recording the detail
in my mind and daily in a journal?
I vow to remember more this time;
already I’m certain I will fail.



Mary Wlodarski lives in Minnesota with her two horses and miniature dachshund. She teaches English and Creative Writing and completed her MFA at Hamline University. Her current project is titled Speak Horse. She has published in The St. Paul Almanac, Sleet, Shark Reef and Spry.

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