Here’s how we do: Sadie’s up
at 6 on the dot and she sings and cackles
for a while: I lie there until
she starts to cry and then heave up,
fetch her from the crib (“Nurse?”
she asks) and take her back to bed
where she and Emily cocoon for a while
and I sink back from waking
when they’re done and everyone
has visited the bathroom or
had her diaper changed, I take Sadie
downstairs for breakfast giving Emily
an hour to write and meditate:
this morning I was hungry so made bacon
and eggs, Sadie had half a scrambled
egg and a hundred strawberries and a scrap
of bacon (we’re being slow to introduce
meat) and we ate together pretty companionably:
then dishes while she stumped around
the kitchen and upstairs again
to play: she’s into pretending
to feed her dolls, I’m not sure but
that seems pretty advanced, let’s pretend at
16 months, I may be permitted a bit
of fatherly pride though I can’t expect
much of a role in the growth of her imagination
I can at least not impede it: no part
of her is more sacred to me than that but
it’s built in I don’t have to worry wonder
will take root: only I’m amazed
that her experiences now will become numinous
memories later on, that she’ll retain images
I can’t predict as I retain images of Maine
summers that for me consecrate a kind of country
of the mind to which I always return
and which colors every fresh wonder, Paris
or sex or the terror of responsibility
that has imperceptibly relaxed its hold
here in Ithaca and certainly here at Gimme!
(on Cayuga Street today) with eyes
itching from allergies and more Ammons
to read. Haven’t even ordered coffee yet,
must get to it and to some kind of pastry
didn’t eat dinner yesterday stomach was off
but I don’t know the cause: Sadie
running naked in Stewart Park (her leg
seems totally better) in the sunshine image
of paradise a light chop blowing
off the lake turning down incipient summer
temperatures: today it’s cool and gray and
thoroughly uninspiring but I carry a black
caffeinated sun from counter to table
and consciousness of luxury will
no doubt see me through.
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