Bruce learned to ski from up high
into a new life
a drain drained our resources
and worsened our debt
my girls adjusted again
to life’s challenges
we were given the rare chance
to make a difference
we traveled through the country
searching for ourselves
we’ll make a better life
everywhere we go
to celebrate love:
she’s fifteen on the fifteenth
surrounded by stars
first: the moon and sun
second: 8.5 miles
third: a fourteener
fourth: pomapoo strength
fifth: learning to climb mountains
sixth: altitude high
between this sunrise
painted so perfectly pink
and this steak dinner
lay a fasting day
of walking, planting, napping
fifteen days, hours
Freshly six, your latest
obsessions are your new Zhu Zhu
and the Tangled doll
with hair so long
I had to braid it on day one.
Just like when you were two,
you guard your possessions
as fiercely as a new mother,
holding them close to your chest
on all adventures, theirs and yours.
A year from now, what will you love most?
Will you have abandoned these items
for the latest movie character,
or have given in to your love of books,
your soon-to-be expert knowledge of words?
As I say whenever you ask me a question
that I’m not so sure of an answer to
(my response, in your eyes, a yes),
With a long line,
a tiny half circle attached,
a diagonal drawn like a
ray of light across the page,
you have written the first
letter of your name. You ask
for more, and I feed them to you.
You swallow them up and
regurgitate the connected-dot i,
the perfect o, the upside-down n,
and the little a, a circle and tail.
And just as you are not quite sure
how to make the letters just right,
I am not quite sure how I am
going to stand here and watch you grow.
Fifty-four pounds, almost half my weight,
you still ask me to carry you.
I reach around your skinny waist
and hoist you up, your arms
flailing wildly (impossible
for you to be still, even now)
as we move into your bedroom.
A kiss good night, a button on the iPod,
and you will listen to the same song tonight,
on repeat, that has played for six months.
I imagine your wedding day,
your groom picking you up in a dance.
Will you play this song, remember its waltz?
Or will I be the only one singing,
“Cantaremos alto, cantaremos bajo,”
until my heart can go neither high nor low,
but stay as neutral as your weight in my arms allows.