Liz Pozen

Now I understand why my father
was afraid of the twins—
little strong limbed boys
always in motion
charging people and pets
climbing on the furniture.

Never physically robust, my father
at seventy five
shrank in their presence
not cowering exactly,
more wary, vigilant
enough for me to feel annoyed.

But I see it’s like this—
First, hearing goes
so the laughter, the whoops
the running footsteps
that would otherwise alert you
do not register.

Sight is next—
outlines blur
colors fade
leaving you unprepared
for the body barreling toward you.

Your gait is unsteady too.
Your arthritic hands
can barely be held up
to signal stop
let alone protect you
from a sudden onslaught.

In short, your early warning system
is disabled
your arsenal is depleted.
Perhaps you are even more vulnerable than a baby
because you know all to well what can happen.