Cabbage Patch Kid
In its first year
it's supposed to sleep as much, develop as much
What is put into it,
is supposed to leave its mark:
strengthen, broaden, make it greater.
Syringes are loaded
against the greatest calamities
– »Look over there, a birdy!« –
the needle is rammed into its arm by the doctor.
The first massive disappointment,
as its mother
At the end of the first year,
steps are due, as well as words.
It shouldn’t shy away from being compared
to other miniatures.
The first negotiations regarding possessions
and rejections, the power of gestures
and the magic of facial features
lead to the second year.
The baby is given its name,
after it has become unambiguously blue or pink.
Only after that point, it's worth cursing and damming
the stork; is it worth feeling beneath the cabbage leaf,
full nine months of uncertainty:
fish or bird. It is always
rather impossible, this endeavor.
Translated from German into AE by Paul-Henri Campbell; taken from the collection MONSTER POEMS (Nora Gomringer and Publishing house Voland & Quist 2013)