Mary Jo Bang


This is funny. I've always said,
This is funny. And by that I mean
The instantly forgettable. The cookbook
Persuasive direction that becomes
An aesthetic direction, as in,
Doesn't this look pretty? The baby
Looked at the baby
And said, Look at you, doing 
Something that makes us notice.

The baby's banal musing, the uncharming
Harm of hearing it said. It was me.
It was I. And now baby listen
To this injunction: Go to sleep. 
This was only meant
As a lullaby. The classic
Mystery of when will the cradle come down.
And onto whose unwittingly
Nonsensical head.

The baby grew up. Became an almost three-five.
She denunciated the keepers 
Of the albums where her brother was pointing
To some flippant toy, and a copy
Of Henry James pointing to little Edith Wharton.
His face as smug as a rug.
Both of them clueless.

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