“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.