Maria Montessori was correct
about all things but whimsy. It is true:
your baby’s mind can grasp and hold the rules
of science, music, and the mother tongues
of many tribes. Not so the minds that age
along with mine: we marvel at the scope
and depth of our own ignorance. It seems
that my old brain, made drunk by too much time
in Once Upon a Time Land, can’t be fixed
with lobster claws, or sticky little hairs -
I should have started sooner. One may ask
himself, before another asks: What’s wrong
with you and your contemporaries, Joe?
They don’t remember what they learned in school.
They’re taking valium on Christmas Day.
They do not have the gumption to complete
a marriage, or a novel…. or a poem.