Poetry Friday: Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children

November 11th, 2011

I am going to turn sentimental for a second on this Poetry Friday. I came across this poem as I was trying to decide what to post today and it made me think of all of the Stenhouse babies — Ruby, Sam, and Dean — who are turning two this year.

First, here is the poem by John Updike:

Saying Goodbye to Very Young Children

By  John Updike
They will not be the same next time. The sayings
so cute, just slightly off, will be corrected.
Their eyes will be more skeptical, plugged in
the more securely to the worldly buzz
of television, alphabet, and street talk,
culture polluting their gazes’ pure blue.
It makes you see at last the value of
those boring aunts and neighbors (their smells
of summer sweat and cigarettes, their faces
like shapes of sky between shade-giving leaves)
who knew you from the start, when you were zero,
cooing their nothings before you could be bored
or knew a name, not even your own, or how
this world brave with hellos turns all goodbye.

And then here is a baby update:

Ruby just celebrated her second birthday

Sam is turning two in December

Dean is going to be two in January

Entry Filed under: Poetry Friday

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Linda Baie  |  November 11th, 2011 at 9:35 am

    So bittersweet, but lovely. I have a 2 1/2 year old granddaughter who is already being plugged into the world-changing every day. I knew her too when she was 0!

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