give me a daisy

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Leane

LeaneLeane was the oldest of Jim’s three girls and also the biggest handful. A nonstop talker, she needed to have someone’s constant attention. That was why I initially started spending time with each of them separately, to give all of them some one-on-one time.

She was the only one of the three who remembered and missed her mother. How do you get over that kind of betrayal? But whenever she wanted to talk about her, it seemed like no one else in the family was interested. Julie was too young to remember her mother and Lainie, surprisingly pragmatic for her age–or maybe not–had written her off.

Since Leane was curious about sex, I bought a couple of age-appropriate books on the subject and during one of her overnights we spent an evening sitting on my bed looking at the pictures and talking about the strange ways men and women have of relating to each other.

wind chimes

Listen:
These chimes are made of glass.
They sparkle in the sun
And in the wind they make a joyful noise.

Do you know
The joy you reach for so eagerly
Can illuminate your life
Like those prisms of glass,
Or smash into a thousand pieces
Sharper and more painful
Than any shards of glass.

You are a reckless child.

Are you too old for lullabies?
Is that why
I try to lull you instead
With these disembodied words?
Can I hypnotize you into believing
in the natural superiority of reason
in my adult view of things
that everything is all right
and down is up?

So many words.

They circle around your pain
Trying to tell you it doesn’t hurt.
Trying to tell you what to be
Instead of listening to who you are.

Who are you?
Knowledge is a wound sometimes
And people are afraid.
You are.
I am.
But we have chosen each other,
And I can look at you now
And listen to you:
All of you there is
And all there is to come.

Who are you?
Child of love and fear
Wind howling in the night
Love burning a fever
Need tracing a pattern of tears and hopes
on face and pillow,
Daughter of my heart and soul,
I know you–
more than it is easy to know
but not more than I want to know.
You can look at yourself in my eyes
and see someone who is loved.

I gave the poem to Leane. She was old enough. She said she hadn’t known I felt that way about her.

Leane1Leane2Lovely, lovely girl! I hope the world has treated her better since that rocky start it gave her.

Next time: Lainie

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