August 1, 2013
I take her to the park, I swing her in the little swing
Help her on the slide, lotion her face and arms against the sun
She runs around in her little bluejeans
The sun is getting higher, as it does every morning
The game now is for me to chase her
The air is dusty and warm
My God the soul you gave me is pure
When another child comes into the playground
She points excitedly and shouts: baby!
From “The Book of Life: Selected Jewish Poems 1979-2011” (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2012). Reprinted by permission of the author. Alicia Ostriker has published 14 volumes of poetry. She received the National Jewish Book Award for Poetry in 2010 and has appeared in numerous Jewish literary journals and anthologies.