To wash his hair is a danger.
He might thrash the tub wall with his
Head. How hard he hates any wetness,
Or to change his shirt: leads me to drip water

Down his back, on purpose, once. This,

More than once. More than once. I remember:

Once he cut himself on bottle glass,

And no more felt the pain than if his blood

Were water: is how I learn this.

Blood is nothing until its wetness would

Somehow bother him, and he’d undress.

To free himself from what?

Nor run for comfort, nor cry, but only wet
Made him complain, return—not the cut.

I don’t dare bathe him alone. It takes two of us, Jim and me, both, manhandling him together.

Jim, who cannot understand this.

Or, with his calm, obliging nature, stand this.