Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Birth of Attention

A dad sits on a subway seat
across from his small child in a pram,
the apparatus pressed protectively
against the man’s paternal knee –

a boy who might be two, or three –
and whose entire interest seems to be
to see what Daddy’s looking into
on his iPad. The toddler’s candor

has no filter – full of the exactitude
of focused want without the least tight
fraught anxiety.  Finally he grabs
the black thing from his dad

and takes a look, and I see what he sees,
imagining he can’t believe the sight:
in the iPad’s rectangle of light appear
parades of tiny broken spheres

and crossed maneuvers,
small black marks whose secret gears,
all splayed in lines upon the white,
seem quite – well I cannot requite

my passion to know what the toddler
thought: it seemed he simply took it in
and took it in and took it in again:
spirit feeding on whatever Daddy

would have said he had been
reading. If I have ever seen a soul
as rapt yet unperturbed as he,
I can’t remember when.


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