We Count to Three

We Count to Three

By Kim Farrar


My daughter has been crowing like a rooster

for thirteen years, and then asking, What does a rooster say?

Some days her charms are irresistible


And I cock-a-doodle-do in response, like a mate

lost in a cornfield.  This is wrong

according to Overcoming Autism.


I should redirect the conversation

to something in front of us,

make her touch the carpet and say soft.


When she was born, her father

held her up and her mouth made a perfect

O, as if we had some nerve


plucking her from that dark warmth

into fluorescent light.  She scored

well on the Apgar, and without knowing


I rejoiced in her future

all she would learn, every cloud

I could show her, who she might become.


In the park there was a stone frog

that spouted a great arc of water,

but rather than flit and dart


with the other little girls who giggled

in their ruffled bottoms, she’d squat

by the drain and listen


to the dripping echo in the deep

metallic well.  Today she’s a good swimmer

and at the public pool she blends


until an honest boy asks, What’s wrong with her?

I explain as best I can then he disappears

among the swarms of screaming children.


We count to three and go under.


Kim Farrar is a poet and essayist living in Astoria, New York. Her poetry has been published most recently in Alaska Quarterly Review, Chicago Quarterly Review, and Rhino. Her chapbook “The Familiar” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2011.

Photo by Scott Boruchov

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