Sunday, March 30, 2008

Slow Children at Play

Who hasn't driven by a sign like that and made the obligatory joke about why the slow children are singled out, as if they're the only ones who have to be carefully taught not to run out after a ball into the street?

A sign like that went up near our friend Glynis' house, and she used to be insulted by it.

I once proved that it is possible to "run" on crutches when my extraordinarily brilliant 15-month-old son tossed his ball towards our street.

So my kids and I like this poem by Cecilia Woloch:

Slow Children at Play

All the quick children have gone inside, called
by their mothers to hurry-up-wash-your-hands
honey-dinner's-getting-cold, just-wait-till-your-father-gets-
and only the slow children out on the lawns, marking off
paths between fireflies, making soft little sounds with their
mouths, ohs
that glow and go out and glow. And their slow mothers
pale in the desk, watching them turn in the gentle air, watching
twirling, their arms spread wide, thinking, These are my
children, thinking,
Where is their dinner? Where has their father gone?

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