Posted by: cousinbrandon | August 27, 2010

Versus: The Poetry of Cousin Brandon

My daughter started school two days ago. First grade, to be exact. Frankly, that’s insane. It really didn’t dawn on me, what that meant, until I picked her up from her new school for the first time yesterday afternoon. The other kids are older. There are more of them. They have messenger bags across their shoulders. They have cell phones, some of them. They have actual textbooks and overstuffed backpacks. They have lunchboxes, composition books, spiral notebooks. They have too much for children. But that’s when I realized that’s exactly what they are: children. Not babies, not infants, not toddlers. They are children, elementary school-age appropriate. They are older. She is older. I am older.

Based on the content of this poem, I must have written it four years ago, as my daughter is now six. I was married back then (and happily un-married now). It strikes me as comical, really, to see that, even then, my ex-wife was a pain in the ass. But I digress. I was reminded of this poem yesterday when I picked my daughter up from school. She is no longer the two-year-old for whom everything is new. Sure, there are always new moments and experiences, but even they are the more “exciting” things, like amusement parks or zoos or movies. They are not the mundane, every day things, and there is a certain sadness to that. I never workshopped this poem, nor submitted it for publication. It is raw and maybe not even very good. But, if nothing else, it was honest and real and true. It was, for some time, my actual life.

My Daughter’s Running

After peeing
I head downstairs
and start the coffee,
then back upstairs
to flip through websites
like a deck of cards.
I read my mail.
I delete nothing
but Spam
before descending
once more to the kitchen
for my first cup of coffee,
cream and sugar.
I tiptoe the steps
for fear of waking
my daughter
and even greater fear
of waking my wife,
who will scream at me
from the bedroom
if she hears the footsteps
of our two-year old
up and down the hallway.
At six in the morning
everything is a freight train,
and my daughter’s running
is an uncontrollable gallop.
To her, waking up
is Christmas,
and so every morning
is Christmas Day.




  1. I loved this post, and I liked the intro more than the poem, which I also liked.

    My daughter just started kindergarten. I share your sentiment of feeling older and seeing your kid getting bigger older and less innocent. There is melancholy in it, but pride too. Thanks for sharing.

    By the way, I’m glad you’re divorced from that wench. If she got mad at you because your innocent daughter woke up at an appropriate time for a child her age and acted age appropriately then she is an evil you don’t need in your life.

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