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Poem for Little Girls

I started writing this poem when my older daughter, now nine, turned one month old (hence "Monthling"). The poem marinated for a LONG time - and I finally completed it for my younger daughter's second birthday. The sentiments expressed are mishmashed between these two girls... This posting is the date of my younger daughter's birthday.

(This poem first appeared in Voices Israel 2015.)


at one month you were tiny

a silent speck in the gray light and dark graininess

of the ultrasound


from all other sprinkles in the speckled galaxy

of my womb

I wanted you to be a girl speck

right there in the blurred organic moonscape

of my womb

I had visions of ruffled pink gingham and glitter

at four months you were rounded and shadowy

a piebald balloon stick figure

your parts waxing and waning as

you jerked away from the probe. I could see

your alien head haloed in white

your puppet leg floating bodiless, bloodless

miniature bones shaping a miniature human

at eight months you were enormous

filling the screen with dappled shades

of gray and white and black

hazy and stark white ridgy rib cage

inside a cavernous dark ball

filling the room with the insistent mechanical whoosh

of your heartbeat

there was no fear, there was no joy, there was no me.

there was only you

at one month you were tiny

your gossamer breath fluttering the butterfly wings

on my arm hairs. Every night I sneaked out of my marriage bed

to hold my breath, to watch your pink rib cage rise and fall

ebb and flow, to inhale the downy silk of your nape

to smell your milky almond mouth and feel the warm damp heft of your bottom

to listen for the mewling that always came right before

you needed me


This poem is included in my chapbook from Finishing Line Press.

You can order the book on Amazon.com or here:

Windows and a Looking Glass by Deborah Kahan Kolb

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