Karen Wang


"Hands down," I say. But he persists:
Grabbing my face as I sign school papers,
Poking my eye while I cook breakfast,
Rubbing his cheek on mine, laughing
Hysterically when I feed his brother,
Sneaking up and yanking my hair,
Always turning me toward himself.
"Hands down," I say. He pleads,
"When I touch your face, I feel love."
Gently cupping my face, he studies me,
Breathes me in, tilts back his head
And closes his eyes in ecstasy.

* * *


Drawn by the whispering water,
You pull my hand through the woods
And drink deeply with your eyes.
"It's just like the river near Pipa's house,"
You tell me, and flickering across your face
Is the memory of another morning,
Another stream, which led us
Under the trees to an empty park filled
Only with the hush of our communion.
With you riding high on my shoulders, or
Piggyback or clinging sidesaddle
(Dotted by kisses and sweet nothings),
Dreamlike we moved as one body
Again, but this time it was I
Who perceived the world through you
While we played and wandered
Around the pond and back
To your grandparents' house,
Where we found everyone
Still asleep.


Karen Wang is a contributing author to My Baby Rides the Short Bus: The Unabashedly Human Experience of Raising Kids With Disabilities and a volunteer blogger for the Friendship Circle's blog on disabilities. You may have seen her walking outside with a wide-awake child at the wrong hour.