One Vow After the Other

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Let me had been

the star watching that night

in 1978,

the rain battering the building

like a child yelling More! More! Again!

or the moth in the corner of

the room like the best shadow,

as my parents discussed the idea

of me, child number two.

Maybe they held hands

tight as a mast

trying to make the grip permanent.

Was their talk of money?

Pluses and minuses in a column–

her at home stretching change

him in his black and blue truck

driver gear unloading petals,

or was it like Edison’s first light

when the air seared

and the lips curved?

Let me had been perched

on the wall

before their heart was

fully-formed for me.

I would’ve said take heed–

you’re making another vow with love

she’ll be born with crooked legs,

wait they’ll be days she’ll feel like

a weed, not a dandelion.

Cynthia Manick is a poet and storyteller. She is the author of Blue Hallelujahs (Black Lawrence Press).

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