Almost Lucy

“Would she learn to love us, and, perhaps, have other human emotions as well? Would she be well behaved, rebellious, intelligent, or stupid? Would she mother her offspring? Would she learn to talk? How intelligent might she be?”

-Maurice K. Temerlin


Almost my happy, smiling, bouncing, bouncing baby

girl, my perfect experiment, but never ‘just’ anything.

Never the girl you saw in the mirror, never

quite the gingham-dressed lass ready with tea

and an embrace to comfort.


Lucy almost always you. Two years

to turn from sipping tea to hurling gin and leering

at dirty magazines. A five minute switch from

comfort to chaos in a storm of almost you, blaming Sue,

who cared enough to lie for you.


I wish I’d never known you, Lucy, never known that

girl who grew to love too much. That almost always

little girl. She cared for her kitten; she caught a fish

from the balcony and handed it to me smiling;

she mixed a drink to celebrate her almost womanhood.


I still dream of you and of the girl you

almost grew to. The elegant hostess in her dress,

ready with tea and cocktails for our guests. I’d be so proud of you,

Lucy, my loving tender almost little girl, and I am.

But you were always over-trusting, too embracing,

And I let him hurt you.


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