For a Granddaughter
haven’t snapped a fresh carrot
between your teeth, crossed
a windy street after looking both ways,
but we can’t hold that against you.
You’ll be here soon enough,and your room is all ready
for you—the crib, the stuffed critters,
the mobile that your eyes will learn
to focus on as you drift toward sleep.
Sleep! You must already knowabout that, there in that quiet
place you live in now. Also,
there are two cats you’ll meet,
who will find you strange at first
and whom you’ll have to learn
to pet carefully. Their claws,
little one, are sharp and crisp,
as are so many things we’d like
to protect you from. You’re set
to arrive in the darkest time
of the year, when days are short
and nights long. But your parents
are tall and strong, and people
have made blankets to cover you.
We can’t wait to makeyour acquaintance. We know
your name but won’t say it
yet, not here. Some things
are meant to be secrets though
everyone knows all about them.