Lighten Up Online

The quarterly light verse webzine

Melissa Balmain -- Enfant Terrible

There’s a truth that most people prefer to keep quiet,
unshared with their friends and their kin—
but it’s high time that everyone ceased to deny it:
a newborn is ugly as sin.
You can dress it in taffeta, ribbon and lace;
you can scrub it each hour of the day;
you can name it Belinda Veronica Grace;
it’ll still look like rump roast manqué.
Any puppy or kitten is sweeter by far,
any lamb, piglet, gosling or foal—
even marmoset infants make ours seem sub-par—
so if having a baby’s your goal,
don’t expect me to call the thing “darling” or “cutie”
or “precious” or “dear little elf.”
Only one child has ever been born a real beauty:
the one I gave birth to myself.

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