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    Selected Poem
Stretch Marks
When we owned tiny hands
and took tiny bytes of ROM,
we stood on kitchen chairs
to glimpse the adult world in large slices,
like the oranges our mother peeled for us.

It came over us
like a hunching, hedge-obscured madman
and smoothed across the lawn
like a winter draft on hardwood floors.
It came over us
at the cemetery in November
and in the municipal park
in the daylight preceding the fireworks,
comfortably scheduled on July 3.

It could not defy or define itself, or us,
but in the slow eye-to-eye relay only siblings know,
we fireman-carried it along,
trying not to spill a single wet drop.

We are older (continually, I guess)
with lifeline infants slung from our shoulders.
They have yet to walk or stand on chairs
and ask, "How do you balance way up here?"

And like my fourteenth year,
when my body grew five inches,
it came over me, cunningly:

that, mostly, growth is slow and unnoticed
and doesn’t leave stretch marks
visibly on our hips.
Submitted: 8/2/2000 Printer Friendly
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