Noah, at Six Months

While, this rainy summer of 1990 the swollen pond pushes past its spillway, bean seeds rot in their rows and lilacs bead up but drop their thousand lavender nubs unopened, one silvery baby named Noah is almost sitting alone now. He sucks his fingers like ten tarts. Through drool and Bronx cheer he crows, inventing speech. A river of vowels starts, broken here and there by the chance rapids of new consonants. We kindle a fire in the parlor stove. The farmhouse steams with the smell of damp wool recurling its filaments, like family feeling. Shall we say all this is Noah's marvelous work? Today in the rain our world is cupped in his ark.

Excerpted from "Looking for Luck" by Maxine Kumin. Copyright 1992 by Maxine Kumin. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

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