Monday, September 29, 2014

working the crowd

Max at 21 Months

piles of thickly squarish, friendly books,
chockfull of simply perfect pictures
and clear words,
his focus drawn to a hat, a character, an action,
a book draws him to pick it up, 
consider it as a friend,
put it down and then repeat the considering
for another and another,
his piles of friends grow
like diary entries in a journal,
sometimes premonitions from the future infuse him
and he finds a best friend
and gives his full attention to it,

often, though, he needs a second look
to hold and leaf through
while a parent reads to him from a first book,

for now the world is an adventure,
like a buffet of appetizers,
and Max joyfully moves from this treat to another,
not yet ready to settle into sustained focus
on a story that enwraps him, a game that holds him,

we go to a playground and he watches, he dabbles,
he gets on a rocking horse, and is off before
I can bring my camera to bear,

I verbally and physically pattern with him
for alert notice and reaction is where he is now,

even when he feels contrary, his heart isn’t fully into disobeying,
and you can watch him push limits,
notice the edge, visit it, and then move back
into what parents let him know is the way to be,

for now Max is working the crowd.

by Henry H. Walker
September 26, ’14

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