At six months old, Sarah was already
insulted, mortified at the offer of a bib.
Do you not see how dressed up I came
for you today? she seemed to ask,
tiny bow in her new red hair,
already fashionable in her yellow
and green outfit. It was just a
suggestion, I shrugged, thinking
yeah—you do look great,
thinking more silently:
She accepted the baby food ‘til
she was able to get hold
of a sandwich from the adult
tray, looking back at me
with those eyes I’ve known
all my life, those Manion eyes
and her hand –pinched my
cheek, pulled my glasses off,
squeezed my nose—look at me,
she said, (minus the words
she’ll be in command
of all too soon, I’m quite sure.)
Mary Jean’s voice, earlier in the
day, before her daughter and
grand daughter arrived, whispered—
Teething ring—do you have one?
I do, I answered—I have grand kids!
too! Put it in the freezer, I heard her say.
So, that’s how I welcomed you, Sarah.
I was one step ahead of you.
After that, I was ten steps behind.