Together

A poem for my daughter, Julianna…


In the dream,

You and I were seated,

Side by side,

In the bench seat of a borrowed golf cart,

Touring the cracks and

Sparkling asphalt of our neighborhood

As the sun began to set.

 

Together,

We hummed through the endless turns

And quiet stretches,

Never bothering to circle back

(if that’s what one does in a winding subdivision),

And I laughed as your cheeks tightened

From smiling

And your blonde hair giggled in the wind.

 

I think we drove for hours,

You and I,

Always whirling around another corner,

Discovering the horizons that lilted with purpled light.

 

“Daddy,” you sang.

“Yes, Julie?”

 

I looked over at you

And your bouncing knees,

Clapping hands,

As you climbed the little ladders in your eyes,

Gazing into futures,

Wondering,

Eyelashes swept with spring.

 

The warm pull of our small motor

Rose into the sky

As you colored the clouds with your singing,

Like fingerpaint against infinite sheets

Of 97¢ construction paper.

 

“Daddy,” you sang.

“Yes, Julie?”

 

But then,

Slowly,

Our magic cart

Reached the end of the dream,

Our swirling atmosphere slurred to a stop

Like chalk,

Our wheels sticking on the fermata,

The song sustaining, the pedal dampened,

As my brain began to wake my body.

 

“Daddy,” you sang.

“Yes, Julie?”

 

I stumble through the early light

To open your bedroom door.

 

“I love you,” you sing.

“Good morning, Julie,” I respond,

 

And we both hear the click of the

Automatic coffee maker,

Heralding the dawn,

As we walk down the morning stairs

 

Together.

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