We begin this way
purple covers pulled over my eyes
small fingers tugging at the end,
smiles full of morning light
voices like the butterfly wings
feet on wood floors
loud as thunderclap.
Peanut butter and jelly
our toes plunge into dewy grass sending shivers up my leg
some days you dart back inside for horses, or swords, or capes, or shovels
some days you find your place amongst the rocks and branches
you assembled the day before
you count meticulously and frivolously
in the way that only a four year old can.
Today you picked a dandelion
and gifted me the bent stem and closed bud
and I tried to teach you of a love that
and does not covet.
I think you heard me.
You ran around the yard smiling
and kissed every flower you could find.
Days like this I feel that I am made of water
and my heart seeps out of my skin
floats up to the sky
and comes back again as the morning dew on your feet.
Today an ant crawled up my leg and tickled the sparse hair on my skin
we decided she thought I was a tree
my thick brown trunk firmly planted atop blades of grass.
You put your hand on my knee
palm towards the sun
and waited for the ant to crawl onto your fingers
and then dive
back into the bed of grass.
I think the ant is brave, like you.
Tonight I have only one wish.
That our kisses seep into the infinite strands of your DNA
so that you are filled with the deepest knowing of how precious
that your heart remembers the sword fights, wrestling and songs
more than the scoldings
that your eyes continue to hold the deep darkness of the earth
and the wonderous sparkle of the stars
and the glimmering sun on salty seas
I pray that you always know
Crack beneath your two brown hands
Your face blooms with pride
Like Goliath sunflowers
You dance a dusky ballet
as crickets sing their feverish heart song
And brilliantly the fireflies
Punctuate each note
Their flashes like a wish on a birthday cake.
Do they know how they make this little ones smile shine bright as a falling star?
Deeper than the crowns
of your sun blushed Cheeks
fall like raindrops
into your nimble hands
Brown and gray mosquitoes
heavy with good wishes for their young
will feast upon
your supply thighs
as you dig tunnels,
sift through fields of lilies,
Dig graves for summer bugs crushed in youthful folly
quiet fleets of brave mothers
Will hum thanks for the bounty of life
love is their might.
Wrapped in the deeply certain comforts
I roll out the quilt composed of my parents’ marital garb
prostrate fully on my freshly cleaned carpet
and inhale deeply the scent of blood and time travel
the wonder of memory
the incandescent magic of kinship
I wait for you
in the moments after the clatter and rumbling
of trains across rusty tracks
and loud bells that startle a young child’s mind into fear
I see you
in the large green leaves of palm fronds
the taste of black tea and crispy brown pancakes
in the gentle tumbling of a tortoise across wet sand
claws sketching your name into my heart
And in these times you are foggy like a dream
and so deeply a part of me that I can hardly sense my self
I can hardly breathe air that does not first cross your lips,
filter through your lungs
and travel space to greet my waiting chest
grateful for subtle bravery
that can only be seen in hindsight;
for words that sway into my mind
heard and unheeded in my quiet rebellion;
for nimble fingers that weave warmth for a sleeping child
and aural tapestries of great white horses
and sandy shores
knowing that there can be no part of this life
untouched by the beauty of yours
Thus you continue
coming forth again as I grow into motherhood
leaning your soft skin against mine
seeping from my pores in memories I can hardly touch
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