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The Disappointments of Childhood.mp4

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Published on Jan 28, 2012

This is the seventh song of Ordinary Heartbreaks and Other Poems of Michael Blumental

Performed by Charles Blandy and Rodney Lister
November 13, 2011 in the Boston University College of Fine Arts Concert Hall


The Disappointments of Childhood

Perhaps a bird was singing, and for it I felt a tiny affection, the same size as a bird
--Jorge Luis Borges


Imagine, now, an affection, the same size
as the thing it's felt for--for the seed,
seedlike emoluments of liking, and,
for the rain, droplets of tenderness
clustered in small puddles at your feet.

And now remember how, as a child,
someone is telling you they love you.
How much does Daddy love you? they
ask, and you, childlike, spread
your arms as wide as a child can.

Little do you know it then, but
the rest of your life will be spent
measuring the distance between "that much"
and what love, in fact, is capable of--

the narrow width of a man or a woman,
their terrible thinness,
their small bones
growing constantly inward
from your spreading arms.

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