A yellow amoeba you can pretend
is Big Bird melts across the ice cream cake,
your son too young to recognize
how unrecognizable the bird is,
but your case of “the house isn’t ready yet” jitters
hits right before the swarm is expected to descend
in various themes of wrapping paper, enormous gift bags,
envelopes full of well-wishes and money.
Must ready the bags of plastic Made in China parting gifts
for kids who won’t show, all except your child’s cousins
from his father’s side and a pair of ex-co-worker’s sons
twitching spasmatics loud as a whole room of kids,
who will reduce into pictures in an album and who will not
be absorbed into your child’s small circle of friends –
they are older, your child will go to a different school.
In-laws line the walls of the living room.
Granddaddy laces his thumbs through his belt loops,
ponders what teams the boy will follow,
foreseeing a long list of invitations he’ll have to decline.
In the glare of the kitchen light, your future ex-husband
tries to warm the knife enough to cut
the solid ice cream block. It gets stuck.
Kimberly L. Wright’s poetry has been published in a number of journals, most recently Into the Void. A journalist for more than 20 years, she lives in the Atlanta metro area.