I signed up for
petit bateau, ciné-goûter
cakes smeared over birthday faces,

I had expected
sleepless nights, doliprane
dentists and long years of braces,

guessed there would be
skipping school, attitude
hard-slammed doors in teenager wars
no prisoners –

so be it. so be these
sweet sacrifices as predicted:
the glory of the gift of self
unconditionally granted.

but some young
do not fly the nest
suckling at their mother’s breast
long beyond
her intended milk;

suckling until
nothing else is left.