The First Word

1942 - January, and I'm still not

a year old -my sister jealous

so she bites my ears and pinches my nose

when no one is looking. 

After supper they carry me into

the living room and sit around a huge square

box that talks, and constantly, night after

hushed night, the box talks and talks Hitler. 

When I speak my first word, that's the one 

I blurt out one snowy day in January; the

whole table goes as silent as church.

I laugh, giggle uproariously, and scream

"Hitler!" once again to my hushed audience

and spatter them with a babyspoonful of

this godawful mashed to splithereens peagoop.


Down below, way down there on the red-

checkered linoleum floor on which my high

chair sits, Queenie, the first of an infinite

number of Queenies (I'm not sure if she's a

springer spaniel, a collie, a golden

retriever, or a german shepherd, but she's

big), yelps her approval and wags her tail.