The Manchester Review
J.T. Welsch
Four Poems
Poetry
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A Rejection of Marriage

The earliest memory you’re ready to share
is pretending to sleep in the pram.
The moral in this is obscure,
though I’m sure it has one,
as surely as the rejection of marriage
by all those doctors in your French novels,
each called to some higher calling or other.

Only The Wood Demon comes
to my poorly-read mind. As surely as it leads
to marriage, I was going to say.
It isn’t true. What actually happens
is just what you’d expect. Don’t laugh!
Even if you suffered Earth alone
for four months, pre-widowed infant,

twenty-seven years estranged, we both
happened to be five once, little bunny.
You had a fat face and an already
haunting stare for the disaster at the far end
of your mother’s camera. I recall none
of your other early habits now,
but I should learn to trust my notes.


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