9 to 5 Poetry Project, Poem 14: The Baby In Pink

Happy Thursday, internet people! We’re almost to the weekend–which means something to you people out there who work a steady work week. Anyway, today’s poem is about a rare event in my personal experience, so let’s get right to it.

The Baby in Pink

Screaming, rambunctious children are the norm.
They race through the store, take toys off shelves,
And act more like tornadoes than miniature
Human beings (allegedly) capable of thought.
Today, a rarity stares up at me with wide cerulean
Eyes. Her gaze fixes on me solidly—they can smell
Fear, I always say. But this little blonde baby grins,
Her toothless smile aimed clearly at me—the cashier
On register 5. She raises a tiny, plump hand,
Miniscule fingers curling to point at me, directly.

Her mother pays us no mind, continuing to unload
The cart onto my counter. The baby reaches out,
Her hands grasping for the hangers of mini pink outfits,
The ones clearly meant for her. A child prodigy,
Already aware of what belongs to her, a vision in pink.
But then, she fixes her gaze on me again,
Curls those fingers together and points, grinning.
For once, I know how to interact with this child,
This person who is not yet at all what she will be.
I mimic the shape of her hand, smile, and point back,
As if to say “No—you.”

Note: Those of you who know me in real life know that I’m about as maternal as a rock. I just don’t know what to do around babies, or why anyone wants to do anything with them but run away. But every now and again a really, really cute baby comes through the line, and if they’re quiet and happy, I almost think they’re cute. Today that happened, and I even managed to interact with the kid. It was kind of precious, actually.

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