All the urgency of her life builds in the
quiet energy before a storm comes
and the dog roams, agitated and aimless.
Breathing is hard and small moments
start to ache when the clouds break
and black rain pours down cold.
This girl curled on my chest in the early days,
when I was certain, before our hands released
and she began praying for me before bed.
Of course I knew I wouldn’t forever stir
her chocolate milk and watch her stretch
on tiptoe for her pancakes and syrup.
Still, the backs of her knees seem too new
as she walks ahead, her life calling out
in the same way she once cried for me.