While balancing an orange on round Tupperware,
its lid blue, stained with red chili,
I think of Jared and how he still sucks his thumb.
He's nearly six
and once his lips pressed
around the knuckle, creating a tight seal,
he lapses into infantile reality.
It happens so easily,
how we can lapse into childhood or childlike states
of mind. I wonder what he thinks of:
whether he was breast-fed or bottle-fed,
whether he nursed for long?
He's a stubborn, whiny child,
but so are most adults.
Where can you draw a line;
separate cognitions; mark the maturity levels?
As a teacher, I can't make
him stop. I'm not behavioristic and
he is not a Pavlovian dog.
I wonder if he feels
his mother's breast
pressed up against his cheeks,
her hard nipple squeezed in his gums
providing him comfort, security, milk.
Or maybe he feels the rubber nipple,
soft and elastic, strangled by his gums
providing him comfort, security, grainy, sticky formula.
Maybe he doesn't think at all.
for if I push my orange
it will fall and roll onto the floor.
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