TEN MONTHS AND THREE WEEKS, Therese Broderick

Ten Months And Three Weeks
by Therese Broderick

Still too young to tell me what you’re searching for
after I rest your purple spoon on the highchair tray
nearly cleaned of peas and tuna bits, after I lift
your body to my shoulder to thrum away bubbles

of swallowed air. You babble ”Khaa” while prying
open my lips, sticky fingers pinching moist bottom
front teeth, then poking innermost cheeks,
gums, porcelain-capped molars and all along

my tongue–fat muscle nannying you
on Monday mornings. Maybe you’re reaching for
warmed-up wads which had been oiling my throat
through lunchtime–“More? More?”–new words

your family and I must sample; or are you
probing for a seedless red grape which
you’ve always sensed should be pulping here
within me, if only I were Great-Grandmother

chewing to harmlessness your next new food then
passing it by lip with a kiss? same first reflex
born to shorebirds–beaks pecking, baby necks
outstretching to mother gullets or father pellets.

I’ll wait for your knuckles to tire out
and tuck, before humming our song to thumbs.

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