Rosemarie Koch


Released from her coach, she wants
first to dance -- the little feet
stamping up and down
while the room is made ready
for a trip to
the sea.

Next, the other children sit
quietly on laps while
the woman with long
honey hair sings and
says Ahoy

she squirms, screams, leaps
free, across the room to the laminate

"World," she says, and "Pink

She elbows me and twists -- the woman
says let her go and that is the first

of letting her go, and
the other
mothers smile at me sadly

there is a child here,
the teacher says, with severe
food allergies. I say, it's her

and point to the top of her head.

No need to single her out, she says.
My daughter grabs

green flip flops, she steals
chiffon scarves in shades of
raspberry, indigo and lime
from the other children.  She uses 

a jinglebell as a weapon to get a drum
from Sara,  whose mother finally says, "I think
Sara is having a hard time," in a tight
voice which means

get your kid the hell away from her

after they say, "Oh developmental
delays," and I say just oral motor and they
say "Chiropractic vitamins blood sugar homeopathic
teething remedies. Here
is my card."

My sister-in-law says, you know it's your fault,
limiting her. I did it all along for mine. 

And while my daughter eats her fruit, I cry
for my own mother, gone seventeen years,
who would surely pull me into her arms
and stroke my face as I do each night
for my daughter, setting things we can't sort out to rights.

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Occupation: Mom/Webmaster
Publications: Snakeskin, Lingerings, etc.

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