My poems podcast, Words by Winter, can be found here.
Whenever I pass a baby on the sidewalk our eyes meet and hold. Babies turn their heads to keep holding that gaze, sometimes all the way to the end of the block. They want to examine me, so they do. This is what I most appreciate about babies; that acceptance of themselves and what they want.
My dog is also like this. When he wants his belly rubbed, his throat stroked, he flops next to me and pushes his nose into me until I pet him. He’s taught himself how to speak what he must think is Human: low mutterings, high warbles that all mean touch me touch me touch me. He too knows what he wants and is unafraid to ask for it.
I don’t exactly know why babies and dogs and this poem make me want to cry, but they do.
The Two-Headed Calf, by Laura Gilpin
Tomorrow when the farm boys find this
freak of nature, they will wrap his body
in newspaper and carry him to the museum.
But tonight he is alive and in the north
field with his mother. It is a perfect
summer evening: the moon rising over
the orchard, the wind in the grass. And
as he stares into the sky, there are
twice as many stars as usual.