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A Reading Family

A poem.

By Robert West / January 8, 2008

A Reading Family

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Not five months old, our daughter looks

with unexpected purpose at the grown-up books

with which she shares our laps,

rejecting dolls and plastic keys and naps

we offer to remind her of her age:

she puzzles over any printed page,

until her brightening eyes

begin, we almost think, to realize

these straight lines, points, and arcs

make up an alphabet and punctuation marks –

until we half-recall a time

this business seemed half miracle, half mime,

when we, too, strained at mastery of

our closest rivals for our loved ones' love.