Toddler
by Russell Rowland



She is our exasperation and delight.
At once a little and a Big, Big girl,
she was born to be a consortium
of harmonious contradictions.

Earthbound when hand-in-hand
with those who serve as ballast
to an elated, sky-seeking balloon,
she rises if, forgetful, we release.

To every question and proposal
the answer on principle is No.
This can mean either No or Yes—
discovering which is up to us.

The potty throne is sat reluctantly,
since already nothing sedentary
appeals to her; routine and ritual
of us, the methodical, least of all.

Hers the childhood we wish we had.
We aid and abet the felonies of joy,
the misdemeanors of wonder,
the trespasses of endless exploration.

She is the future we will never see;
we, the past she will not realize
guides her choosing between sweet
and bitter, abundance and paucity.

Our toddler crayons rainbows back
into our bleached hopes, dreams.
Not always inside the lines! At last
we understand how we went wrong.





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