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A Poem by (for) my Daughter

How vital (vita – life) her hand upon
the blank book, the pen not yet tamed, motions
unpracticed, new – she makes her way in straight
sky-blue lines across the page. The black scratch
of inked waves sometimes form a word. “Being”

is one. Another is “Bubbles,” all in caps
perhaps for bouyancy’s sake. The thick
and round B’s are bubbles themselves; I think
that she is on to something, a meaning,
a mirror: word to object, small conjurer.

Look closer. More letters, all bound and tight
from charmed inexperience; a mother’s eye
frees and separates and then binds again
the large letters into small words. There is
a sentence, here and there, the first one reads

“We are in a Book”….Then: “I think someone
is lookin’ at us who is Looking, why
A Monster. No. It is a reader a
reader is reading us reading those word
BUBBLES (ah, now I see) we are a book

We are in a book that is so cool we
are being RED I have a good idea
I can make the reader say a word YOU
can make the reader say a word I can
if the reader reads outloud Here I Go:

Banana. Ha! You have to say that, the
reader, (it’s in the book) say it outloud
This book is going too fast I have more
to say more words more jokes I just want
to be read I have an idea: Wisper

I can whisper whisper. Yes that is good.”
So this is her secret, this girl with hair
of speckled gold and limbs as soft and dark
as wet sand from a warm sea, her spider-
thin legs and eyes forever cast in dream:

The tales we tell in twilight, to distant song
of birds in spring or the yip of winter’s
new grown fox, are not possessed by picture
and page alone but live outside all spine
and cover. Her brother, I think, might be

a brilliant sun but she is a Breton moon.