Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Children

Academic journal article TriQuarterly

The Children

Article excerpt

Down on my hands and knees--the first time-- Hardly aware, feeling I must obey Karim six, Linda five, on my back, bouncing, spurring me, Piping, "Giddap!" "Hooray!",

I remembered, nonetheless, the next morning In a small park, watching children run, That never once had I played Horse with my own, and that indeed Thirty years had flown

Since, grudgingly, worn out after the office, I cleaned up toys they wouldn't put away, Or tonelessly read them Grimm I knew they wouldn't understand, Or, on a Saturday,

Might be prevailed upon to wheel them to A playground where for a few hours I read While they toddled about or were pushed around or fell, and someone else In all likelihood

Returned them to me, howling; and--next time-- That night in the pizza place, outside the store Karim had been brought to, to exchange his chess set I'd gotten him For some electronic board

Game or other, I remembered better (Watching Linda throw away her napkin, Smirk at me, then pummel her mother, who was telling my wife Abstractions are rooted in

Reality always, if they are any good, And scream, "Maman, j'ai perdu ma serviette!"), I remembered thundering, "I never wanted kids!" while my two- Year-old with her fist beat

Her tray and wailed, who'd interrupted my lecture On developing one's style, while her mother sat Stonyfaced, and how, years later, recognizing me Somehow on the street,

That child (young woman now) had asked me meet Her over coffee, so she could hear my side Of the story, and I'd refused, with wise logic (I felt), saying, "I've no wish to provide

"You further conflict; let's say we both were wrong; Anyway, you are you own best friend-- Part-time fathers confuse! …

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