Two days old,
light, dark, the roar of sound.
After a month,
faces, the touch of skin
warm bath water, and lullabies.
Every day, the river of discovery,
of sight, and sound and touch and taste
cascaded with the newness of things, life eaten
in spoonfuls-
peas, oatmeal, carrots, rice and lamb and then
the miracle of pudding, of scrambled eggs—
the pinch of shoes, the itch of new sweaters,
the buzz of flies.
You waded into life with careful steps, and bumped
into hard furniture, tickling grass, your father’s legs, the patient dog.
The rain of things fell every day into your head, a waterfall
of this and that and all the wide world had to offer up,
the sound of bees, the smell of lavender, the taste of pumpkin pie
the feeling of a cool stone floor, each step a story told beneath your toes.
Each year the new became a steady stream, narrowing
until some weeks the trickle came in coffee flavorings,
the pictures that the television sent,
those glowing creature from the ocean floor—
the tang of new pills, the warm sting of chemotherapy
These final months, it all comes rushing like a cataract,
the torrent of your life
as death’s Niagra washes you away.