For My Daughters


My girls.

*This the second in a two-part series on mothers and mothering.


While most of my writing lately is prose, I also enjoy writing poetry. I wrote a poem for each of my two daughters in the past year. Quinn is fourteen, soon to be fifteen, and Evangeline is eleven, soon to be twelve. I share the poems here in honor of Mother’s Day.


My girls share some interests such as reading, visual art, dance, a love of music and history, animals, and nature, and are both kind and caring people. In other respects, they are vastly different from each other. One of the things I love most about being a parent is watching the slow unfurling of our daughters’ selves, the gradual discovery of who they are as individuals. It is a humbling privilege to watch them reveal who they truly are and to embrace them for their own, singular beauties and idiosyncrasies.

Evangeline.

Still Ourselves

~for Evangeline (age 11)


Once you were three.

You toppled my leather satchel,

graduate papers vital to me,

confetti to you.

You looked up, dimpled.

Satisfied.

What could I do

but extend arms and scoop

soft flesh, duckling fuzz --

your wiggling form,

and laugh and exclaim and laugh?

Now you are eleven.

You level warning looks

in a crowd when I --

without intention --

share too much

your guarded self,

overturn your shell

and expose what you

meant only me

to see.

The child that remains.

I concede.

Apologize.

Later, alone, we snuggle.

Still ourselves.

Soon you will be nineteen.

Who can say

what you will do

what exertion of will

what curiosities, indulge,

truths conceal

I will enter the room,

throat caught

at the true sight of you,

your autonomy.

You will surprise me.

Perhaps a call,

a visit.

There will be

new papers to clean up.

New expressions to register

and to respect.

Yet -- and here I hope --

Ever, still ourselves.

~June 2021


Evangeline.

 

Quinn.

Sprite Child

~for Quinn (age fourteen)


Elf-like from first

I saw you

Glittering bead eyes,

mischief fired.

You never were a sleeper.

You always were you

Quick but not to conform

You cared not a jot that

I wanted you to close your eyes

Needed you to

You had other ideas.

Ire raised as a three year old

Your fury was breath-taking

But you were also

resident comedian

whip-sharp

and wise.

I see now

always I was one step,

three steps behind you

there you’d go

through the wood

hair wisping wild

turning split-second --

flash of eyes

curl of lip

tease of trickster --

to glance at me

before darting away

a dash, a glimpse

Wait!

A giggle.

I would trail

with laughter.

And try my best

to keep up.

~September 2021


Quinn.

Do you have a poem in you this week? When could you find a bit of time to sit down and try your hand at crafting a poem? It is never wasted time.


Who, in your life, has given you the honor of revealing their truest selves to you? Could you communicate to them your enjoyment of knowing them deeply as people? How might you do that?





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