Changing of the Guardians

Changing diapersbabywipesetc
we once foolishly hoped
were a passing fad

too soon wistfully outgrew
all-star wrestling bouts
on sopping pads

consoled ourselves with
years of wiping runny noses
becoming laser-precise,
discreetly or not

plucking
odd clumps from noses,
Cheerios from ears via
pointer-finger-and-thumb
industrial tweezers

overcame
defiance deftly utilizingusedkleenex2
Kleenex-and-spittum
wash cloths to rub
off or deeper in
crusted, dried
residues of often
unknown origin
and composition
frequently enough
for EPA containment
certification

Hazmat suits be damned.

Balled-up tissues,09 14 12a
sanitary wipes, pilfered
restaurant napkins
hand-me-down
cloth diapers,
parental shirt sleeves
tools of our lofty craft

Formerly resistant
now pliant,steady
hands carry QTip-
villager’s-torch

generational transference
fondly messy duties
resistant-to-disinfectant
memories will
render a someday
fragrant nostalgia

Mark Lucker