Andrew, October 2008
Saying Goodbye to Very Young Childrenby John Updike
They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
the more securely to the worldly buzz
of television, alphabet, and street talk,
culture polluting their gazes' pure blue.
It makes you see at last the value of
those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells
of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces
like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)
who knew you from the start, when you were zero,
cooing their nothings before you could be bored
or knew a name, not even your own, or how
this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.
Perhaps it would be more fitting to just post photos of them from last year, photos that demonstrate how thoroughly they have changed already. But this is how they are right now (Andrew took the photo of Will himself), and in a few months time, the change will be plain enough for me.