Day 100: Message

“I think I missed a message in my dreams,”
Says my daughter, smelling of lavender lotion
And dandruff shampoo.
She looks around her bedroom as if
The lost wisdom will appear like a cat
Sleeping under her desk.
The Solomon Islands, Indonesia, and Guam
Scatter across the wallpaper map of the world
Above her resting head.
Where will you go, my sweet?
Her eyes close, another day gone,
Another page dog-eared
To be taken up again tomorrow.
The message will come for you, honey girl.
You will hold it in your palm,
Call it by name, and swallow it whole.

Day 37: Birthday

My sweet baby, there should be no tears on your birthday. You should have only presents, smiles from your friends, and notes of love that remind you of everything wonderful growing another year older means.

I lean over you, holding your cold hand in mine, and your sobs break my heart. I feel your world-weariness, even as young as you are, heavy like a stone in your chest. Growing up means a driver’s permit, freedom, independence. It also means showing a face to the world that has swallowed its tears, at the head of its own table, licking the icing.