Mary Ann Rockwell
THE AGONIES OF INNOCENCE
Pooh, though Bear-of-Very-Little-Brain,
still figured out how far the charms of half-thought
and puddle-jump logic could hurl a boor
like him: there is mojo in the tongue-scoured
honey-pot; there is mercy dropped on real twits.
And so, despite the daily calamity
of poor judgment—the licked-clean gift,
the panicked fur impaction of the rabbit-
hole—he fumbles forth, relatively fearless,
certain that his next act will be caught, mid-spill,
by some sage, sandy-haired boy wearing shorts
and girls' shoes. And the seven-year-old,
with each fresh save, hoists up his burden of love,
heaves his thirteenth sigh, being daisy-chained so.
I was wondering, astonished, about the dynamics of human relationships, both specific and general: about our however-flawed attempts to care for each other. That loving, with all its demands and inequities, is difficult and irrational and persistent and miraculous. Then, fueled by the mythology of my childhood (as my work often is) a poem happened.