June 21, 2013

Robert Fanning

WATCHING MY DAUGHTER THROUGH
THE ONE-WAY MIRROR OF A PRESCHOOL
OBSERVATION ROOM

Maggie’s finishing a portrait
of our family, gluing googly eyes
      onto a stately stick figure

I hope is me. Now she doesn’t know
who to play with, as other kids,
      pockets full of posies,

all fall down. She wears my face
superimposed. I almost tap
      the glass, point her toward

the boy with yellow trucks.
Lost, she stares out the window
      toward the snow-humped pines

beyond the playground.
When I’m dead, I hope there’ll be a thin pane
      such as this between us. I’ll stand forever

out in the dark to watch my grown children
move through their bright rooms.
      Maybe just once they’ll cup

their hands against the glass, caught
by some flicker or glint,
      a slant of light touching their faces.

from Rattle #38, Winter 2012

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