Due next month
my daughter is making
me into a grandmother
before I am ready
before she is ready
(no one is ever ready)
to bring a tiny human
into this world
into this house
lately near-bursting
with bassinets high-chair stroller carseat pack-n-play
diapers wipes tiny hats tinier socks clothes burpcloths
bottles pumps nipples lotions soaps towels diaper bags
playmats with mobiles baby gyms bathtubs stuffed cows
cardboard books boppy monitors pacifiers slings rattles

the baby’s great-uncle, schizophrenic,
signs his bi-weekly letters to me
like the weird has come upon him:
it is not a good time for children and babies

as if I don’t know that already
as if I could barricade the doors and windows of this house
                    with            all           this           stuff
to somehow keep a baby safe
as if inside is any safer
with three needy dogs all teeth and nerves
one pissed-off cat a pissant problem
steps with sharp corners toilet bowls
knives nail files medicines bleach
uncovered outlets extension cords
unlocked cabinet doors trash cans

a pile of prophetic letters
lately unopened
growing on the kitchen table