My baby brandishes a wooden knife
meant to halve a wooden shallot
as he hollers his newest word. Knife.
Look at my son, flashing
his dagger, jamming it into plush
animals. Knife, knife. Look at him,
oblivious to the weapons
littering his lineage or, God forbid,
possessed by them. Can the babies
planted in the dirt of our bodies
absorb the torments buried there?
My gentle, watchful child
wants all the knives. But some days,
everywhere, blue. The bear, blue.
The bells, blue, the car, the cup,
the light. I marvel at my son,
who marvels at the sky—blue, blue—
no matter how gray the bully of clouds.
And this is all I want.
Look at my son laughing at the rain.
Look how he prods the window
with his knife, insisting
we cut up the storm, demanding
the blue back into view.
Copyright © 2022 by Eugenia Leigh. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on March 17, 2022, by the Academy of American Poets.