The doll’s baby breath in her hand
was bubbles. I laid her out to dry.
The yard was jelly. Right there
was a train track. We never slowed
down. I was younger in the
summer than winter. I was never
late. The doll had many names
but one set of clothes. I called
her my own until the future was
the voice of God in a tin can and
the sun was the yellow string.
I saw more deaf people than Down
syndrome. I think I may have heard
I’d always be on my knees. I used
to stroke your skin and smile and
babble to you in the stores. Now
you love the stores. You were
my backward baby with clothes
inside out wearing a winter coat
on a hot spring day. You are the
unteachable kind that only repeats.
I had a doll but it didn’t teach me
much. You wouldn’t sit still and
then you wouldn’t sleep and then
you wouldn’t eat. I worried you’d
get hurt or wander away. You like
colored lights. You like movies.
You like spaghetti. You don’t know
which shoe goes on which foot.
You walk carefree.
We have no social pact with others.
There is no editing. There is never
a certainty circling the day like a bird.
The doll was only half way through
my childhood winding around the
seasons with that yellow string. You
are all the way through my adulthood
and tied to me like truth. The motion
in the air is fallen hearts in place
of leaves. You don’t turn with the
the times. You swing in the backyard.
Mine was everyone’s.