My Daughter Comes In

Posted by in Motherhood Project, Poetry, Writing

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.

I’m unsure
so I dig and dig
returning with
empty hands

and an overfull heart.