Poem | Childhood Wordwaking

Each day makes window,
makes new light in time for sky,
            moves waved light suntall

            curling for new room
to wake, and her smile moves light,
            moves time, places place.

            She wakes window. My
mother sounds time, she tells words
            to let light be there,

            and there itself be
there, called like music awake
            songbelled and floating—

            vision shored. Windowed
sheetlight paces walls, time walks
            shadows through doorways

            of rhyming echoes
opensonged. Our voices learn
            step by singing step

            to name each sound we
see. Sunshine turns words, and tells
            the books we can read.


Judy Little is Professor Emeritus at Southern Illinois University. Her publications include Comedy and the Woman Writer (University of Nebraska Press, 1983) and The Experimental Self (Southern Illinois University Press, 1996). Her poetry has appeared in Vallum, Beloit Poetry Journal, Prairie Schooner, America, and the Anglican Theological Review.

Also by this author
Poem | Wilderness Experience

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