To be and Knot to be

She’s learned to tie a simple knot –
She isn’t even nine months old,
She barely brings her palms to clap,
But she can tie a simple knot.

Of course, she can’t untie it yet.
That skill is harder yet to learn –
I struggle after thirty years
To open chutney packets still.

And that’s the trouble, isn’t it?
So easy to engage a knot,
So difficult to disengage.
The way we knot up everything.

I’m quite a mess of knotted Nots –
Do Not, Can Not, Will Not, Should Not –
That I have not (again, a not)
Yet figured out unknotting of.

And is that not (again, a not)
The word she’s hearing most these days?

To not eat random bits of trash;
To not run to the edge of beds;
To not play with our precious phones;
To not, to not, to not, to not…

So many Nots arresting her
Unfettered, novel energy.

The Nots my parents tied on me,
The Nots I tied without a thought,
The Nots I let some strangers tie,
Are still arresting most of me.

Perhaps, there is still hope for her:
She’s crazy fast at picking skills.

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