This was the first poem I had published in a literary journal (it appeared in Quercus Review years ago). When I received the acceptance form in the mail, I jumped up and down and screamed, which caused my Boxer and my Border Collie, who were already on edge, to fight at my feet. So that's my main memory of my first poetry acceptance—I freaked out my poor puppies.
Before your birth I carried you
here to the 'happiest place on earth,'
where I declined Space Mountain
so you'd be born without defect.
Now clumsy with your stroller,
I'm the one left out again when your eyes
grow heavy as low-slung coaster cars
lugging up the first hill.
On the way out,
I toss your sour bottle in a metal bin.
The racket threatens to shake you
off track, but halfway down Harbor Boulevard
you succumb to the ride,
while I walk the shadow fence
the real one makes across the sidewalk.
In the humming space of our hotel room
the air conditioner counts down to cold,
and I park you near the bed, leave you
pressed back in your rocket
while the others blast off.