It’s morning; you are six 
Impatient to be off 
In the clear cold light 
Of the second week in March.

I’m your father in 
Whose grasp you can’t hold still. 
Your brother calls; it’s time 
To leave for Kindergarten,

But I must wax your cow lick, 
Brush your hair down, 
Button your starched collar 
And make sure you have your folder.

I let you go a mess 
Knowing that you’ll cry 
If he should call again. 
I am left alone

Hearing the front door close, 
You and your older brother 
Setting off together 
Across the wet lawns.

Where will you arrive? 
And will I know you then 
Blue eyed and American? 
“Grandma is Jewish,” you said

At Christmas time. What will 
You say to me when you 
Are taunted as a Jew? 
Or do they do such things

In the new glass school? 
As though they ever stop. 
It’s 9; the buzzer sounds; 
Miss Jennings has you now.

You stand beside your desk, 
Pledge your flag and sing 
Slightly out of tune 
“For spacious fields of grain.”