English poetry

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Child Margaret

Child Margaret

THE CHILD Margaret begins to write numbers on a Saturday morning, the first numbers formed under her wishing child fingers.
All the numbers come well-born, shaped in figures assertive for a frieze in a child’s room.
Both 1 and 7 are straightforward, military, filled with lunge and attack, erect in shoulder-straps.
The 6 and 9 salute as dancing sisters, elder and younger, and 2 is a trapeze actor swinging to handclaps.
All the numbers are well-born, only 3 has a hump on its back and 8 is knock-kneed.
The child Margaret kisses all once and gives two kisses to 3 and 8.
(Each number is a bran-new rag doll… O in the wishing fingers… millions of rag dolls, millions and millions of new rag dolls!!)



Poem Child Margaret - Carl Sandburg