Baby screaming.
Dad tries to
console child.

But infant knows
that they’re in
an unfamiliar place

that triggers millions
of memories even in
such a small being.

Memories of being prodded
by strange hands,
odd smells and sounds.

Babies know more
than we think.
Unable to protest

in either the
language of adults
or siblings.

Babies do not
hesitate to express
their discomfort,

unfamiliar settings
with giants dressed
in white, wearing masks.

Babies know more,
think more than
we think they think.

Despite what
experts say,
babies arrive

armed and ready
to command a room
with smile or tantrum.

Babies know more
than we think,
I am convinced.

Our babies know
what we forgot
as we grew taller.

They arrive with
this ability
to show us

there is still
to learn.


Janet Cormier is a painter, writes prose and poetry, and performs comedy. Janet prefers different and original over pretty. She loves collecting stuff, but cleaning not so much. Janet also talks to strangers. A lot. Her column appears weekly on Oddball Magazine.