Differentiation

You learn
cup. You learn again.
You learn
no.

I so loved your wordless pink
mouth warm with milk—
soft folds of neck
wet with it.

You are lengthening
now, into a being
taut and
comprehensible.

For months after the blood cord scabbed
on your belly, nothing nourished you
that did not first pass through
me.

Look at you in your high chair—the table before you
laid with sweet potato, macaroni
from a carton, milk

from a carton.

Lisa Raatikainen is a writer and music teacher who holds degrees in religion and biology. She lives in Vermont with her family.

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