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The Children

By Joyce Sidman / June 17, 1996

Inside me, they were closer than touch:

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a cramp, a ripple, a flush of joy.

Once born, an appendage

requiring extraordinary gentleness and care.

A smell: silk/down/water/milk.

It was years before I could

set them at arm's length, consider, nod.

Even now, when I hold

them close I cannot see them

but when I let them go, sprinting

elsewhere across the velvet grass,

their faces are forever clear.