She Learns to…

She Learns to Read

Last month, I wanted to write a poem
about Kavya learning to read;
we were so struck by how one day
suddenly it happened.

We would come to put the children
to bed, and find her reading
slowly, sounding out the words,
a bedtime book to her younger brother;
she would come home from school
get her own snack
and sit on the couch to read �
about Barbies, or princesses, or
Fancy Nancy, admittedly �
but we could forgive all that
because she was reading!
Visions of splendor opened up
before me � Tolkien and Asimov,
Christie and Sayers, my own childhood
recreated, blissful days in dim libraries.

And now, it is a month later,
and I have finally gotten around to writing
this poem, and all the urgency
is gone. I must press to remember
the astonishment � the moment in her bed
when I turned to Kevin and said,
�She�s really reading!� and he said yes, smiling.
That was a month ago, and Kavya is on
to a long series of new accomplishments
and I already take her books for granted.

This is childhood, and parenting: a string
of small, forgotten miracles.

*****

M.A. Mohanraj 4/12/18

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