National Poetry Month: April 30th

Walking around the Block with a Three-Year-Old by David Wagoner

She sees a starling legs-up in the gutter.
She finds an earthworm limp and pale in a puddle.
What’s wrong with them? she says. I tell her they’re dead.
.
She scowls at me. She stares at her short shadow
And makes it dance in the road. She shakes its head.
Daddy, you don’t look pretty, she says. I agree.
.
She stomps on a sewer grid where the slow rain
Is vanishing. Do you want to go down there?
I tell her no. Neither do I, she says.
.
She picks up a stone. This is an elephant.
Because it’s heavy, smooth, slate gray, and hers,
I tell her it’s very like an elephant.
.
We’re back. The starling is gone. Where did it go?
She says. I tell her I don’t know, maybe
A cat took it away. I think it’s lost.
.
I tell her I think so too. But can’t you find it?
I tell her I don’t think so. Let’s go look.
I show her my empty hands, and she takes one.

This poem was selected by Russell J. (Readers’ Services)

Poetry Copyright Notice

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