Cati Porter
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 "Caution Please Do Not Try To Turn the Head Forcefully by Hand!"

(label found on the knee of my sonís jeans after his first day of preschool)

 

I donít know where it came from but itís there, stuck
to his grubby little knee as though someone found

him label-less, saw his small head, how tragically
fragile, how it could turn, like a lid, quite

around, and, with a pop, twist off. I am grateful
to whomever had the foresight to apply

that label, grateful that they did not choose
"Open Me First" or "Discard After ______,"

thankful they turned my attention to the fact
that someday someone may turn his head.

The world will not always be gentle with my son.
 
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Cati Porter is a poet, artist, and freelance writer. More of her poems be read online in the journals Poetry Southeast, Sunspinner, Banyan Review, and Poetry Midwest. She lives in Riverside, California, with her husband and two young sons.
E-mail: Cati_Porter at yahoo dot com
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