Port Deposit 1965

When I was very small I had a friend
Whom I called Ducky, which was apropos
Because he was. My sister would pretend
That he was just a toy; he wasn’t, though.
To prove to her that Ducky could, too, swim,
I filled the tub and Ducky spun around
In small, concentric circles. Jeering him,
My sister said, “If he’s alive, he’s drowned!”
You see, I used to hold him by the throat
And all his vertebrae were so relaxed
He couldn’t lift his head, so, like a boat
With one oar dipped, his way-making was taxed.
I swore he’d swum; my sister called me liar.
My mommy warmed up Ducky in the dryer.

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First Ones Up

Slanting yellow light
Footie PJs, sleeping bag
Mostly dry inside

Pad across the house
Past the picture window pool
Toward the sound of food

In a storybook
Eyes that twinkle mean you’re safe
Even far from home

Scottish plaid nightdress
Orange juice and buttered toast
We’re the first ones up