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The First to Grow Up

Parker Smith

 It’s hard not to think of yourself
as someone with parents.
But here’s how – start by adopting
a policy of soft hands,
then, as they get needled by things
like pencil tips and hangnails,
find someone to show them to,
who will appreciate their resemblance
to a coat of snow impaled
as it melts and lowers over
branches that were happy to wear it
before it started dripping on them.
This person should offer a calm body,
something you’re comfortable handling
glovelessly and often. Then, move on
to discarded drafts of clouds,
the wads of copper that God crumpled
in a bout of writer’s block,
and admit you’ve never seen them before.