Poet of the Week: Maurice Decaul
The baby is a creature of habit, every morning a slice
of toast a smear of peanut butter, a little extra
on her spoon. White table grapes when in season,
strawberries quartered, when in season
my refrain is always: take small bites Elaine.
On my roof seagulls & pigeons wait to gorge on her scraps
even when it is raining, they come. She has outgrown
her rain boots again so I remind her to not
splash in puddles. My umbrella is three feet long.
We walk to the subway; I hold her hand, my umbrella
cradled & I love walking point on patrols
knowing I might die with each step. But my rifle
is god & it keeps me. “We are shepherd dogs
protecting the flock, never forget
Marines, we are part wolf & this is why we’re so good
at killing them.” My umbrella is a burden
each time Elaine is on patrol with me; she tugs
on my hand wanting to be carried. I can’t Lainey,
you’re too heavy & daddy’s hands are full. Every morning
she asks for a penny to make a wish at the fountain;
I see her lips moving, the penny sinking, her dewy curls.