My Daughter Comes In
My daughter comes in and hugs me
I cried earlier today
But she wasn’t here
I wonder what she can sense
Then I wonder about her motives
We cuddle as I type
Her small hand gripping my arm
Knee balanced carefully upon my chair
“I love you so much, mommy…
I dig, what is she harping for?
A drink of my iced tea?
Permission to bake something?
The ‘go-ahead’ to take out her paints?
…and I’m listening, I know you think no one is,
but I am.”
My heart flutters.
She’s only nine
What could she possibly hear?
Uncomfortable, guilty: I deflect.
Aren’t you gonna go watch the movie?
Did you eat yet?
“No, mommy, I wanna stay here with you…”
I take a deep breath.
I’ve been distant lately
Lost in my own mind
And this moment is like salve
to the injured soul.
… I love you so much” she says
again and again.
She wants to tell me about her day,
the animals she crafted for everyone,
how difficult it is to make a dog,
and there’s a loneliness in her voice
so I hug her harder.
There is a vein that connects us,
and in my own sadness,
I let it wither. Always
always, she preserves it
floods it with fresh blood.
so I dig and dig
and an overfull heart.