Early Childhood Development

By Rob Carney

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Old Roads, New Stories: A Literary Series

after Christopher Smart

For I will consider my six-year-old,

for he is the laughter of the living God, duly and daily laughing.

For at the last glance at the glory of God in the west, he worships in his way,

for is this done by brushing his teeth and building a nest in the middle of his mattress,

having first kangarooed up the stairway’s ascension,

having second gathered scatter, and scattered it again,

having third given my back more trampoline practice,

having fourth ended his day inside of books.

For he has the rough draft of llamas for his hairstyle.

For often he is the astronaut of dusty.

For the halo of all is moonlight, and he’s always loved the moon.

For he is an instrument for the cat to learn benevolence upon.

For his dinner chair would be incomplete without him and tacos diminished in their flavor.

For increasingly in the years ahead, he’ll moan, “Dad, stop telling this poem to people,” and dwell, lone survivor, on a planet of embarrassment . . .

for he has teeth, and they will grit.

For today when his sister said, “What about The System?” he sword-thrust the air with his finger and roared, “Go to hell!”

For God has blessed him in the variety of his attitudes,

for though he isn’t mean, he is excellently stubborn.

And he can smile at life.

And he can sleep.




Rob Carney’s fourth book, 88 Maps, was published by Lost Horse Press (distribution by University of Washington Press). Previous books and chapbooks include Story Problems and Weather Report, both from Somondoco Press.
Read poetry by Rob Carney appearing in 6th Annual Contest Finalist, 4th Annual Contest Winner, and Issue 30. And listen to a new radio interview with Rob Carney, and here’s an older radio interview.

Original mixed media print by Jameson Carney. is the first online literary journal of place, publishing award-winning literature, art, editorials, and community case studies since 1998.