To My Daughter

From the narrow doorway,

I saw you.

Small fingers spread lightly on your chest,

long, dark tangles tossed across the white pillow,

framing your face, it’s features frozen as

you slept in the dim light.


Your eyes,

usually wide and wild,

perfect grey-green with

won’t-take-no-for-an-answer eyelashes,

were closed.


The impish grin was gone,

and your lips, no longer

singing, screaming, sputtering

their incessant now, now, now,

were poised in a perfect pout,

smooth and silent.


Stretched out, listless, beneath

white wrinkles and folds,

your scrawny, long limbs,

that endlessly trip, turn, tip-toe

and kick, kick, kick,

were resting.


In the peace of that stillness,

my breath, too heavy to hold,

hollowed me out,

and the thunder in my chest

beat at its bony cage

until I thought it would break.

I thought it would break

to feel you

kick there again.


~DRH for The Poplar Grove Muse

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