All the Right Questions

Peering into prams my grandfather would ask
Is it boy or child? artless, without articles
His strange tongue veiling well the mischief
Of a kind, discerning mind

He died too soon, and had no children
Anecdotal evidence is what I have of him

Raised among men who didn’t care for children
I cared for dogs and horses, lead and leather
Waiting to be strong beyond my strength

An aunt gave me a doll for Christmas once
And got it back, my mother tells me, smiling
Five-year-olds are plainspoken and nothing
Much has changed

I await my menses and swallow sugarcoated
Drops of rain to keep them coming

Like a clockwork
I ask all the right questions peering into prams
Having no tongue to save me from suspicion

I don’t know how lack is strength
But must believe it is