Oh grief, don’t touch my child just yet.
Don’t teach him so soon that
Each beginning hides an ending.
Today I held a cup of water to his lips
And smiled with him as he sipped.
Yesterday he only sputtered.
He hasn’t noticed yet that joy
Is almost always seasoned with
A sprig or two of sadness.
So heartache, do me this kindness -
I will stand a while as surrogate.
Let me dance with you in his stead,
Mourning for him all the little deaths
That bob wistfully in the wake of
Every glad discovery.