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
Robert Fanning: “The way a passing cloud can hush the day’s bright noise—that’s what I want from poems I read and write: that shiver that filters through language and image, that shadow light that gives me a new view, a stillness, a moment of knowing again what I never knew.” (web)