Why There Aren't More Poems About Toddlers

By Barbara Louise Ungar

Where’s the paper? Where
are all the pens? Where are my
scrawled ideas for poems?
Where has my dream journal fled?

The baby eats erasers and draws
on walls, scribbles in library books,
loses pen caps, scatters scratch
paper, flushes pencils
to catch paper till the toilet chokes
after you’ve dumped a diaper in
(a repeating dream you no longer bother to analyze).

Because the naked two-year-old
squealing under your bed
has the plunger; because while you shower
he microwaves potholders, salts the teapot,
peppers the sofa, pours milk on rugs;
because he’s magnetized by knives
scissors water & electricity.

Because, with luck, he will leave
for school and break your heart.
And still you’ll wonder, where
did it all go?

From The Origin of the Milky Way.

Barbara Louise Ungar's third full-length poetry book, Charlotte Brontë, You Ruined My Life, was a poetry best-seller for SPD for several months this spring upon its publication by The Word Works. She is the author of two previous full-length collections of poetry, Thrift and The Origin of the Milky Way. The latter won the 2006 Gival Press Poetry Award, a Silver IPPY (Independent Publishers' Book Award), an Eric J. Hoffer Notable for Poetry Award, and the Adirondack Center for Writing Award for Best Book of Poetry 2007 (co-winner). She is also the author of Haiku in English, and several poetry chapbooks. She is an English professor at the College of Saint Rose in Albany, New York.

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