For LC, After Her First Birthday: A Poem

For LC, After Her First Birthday

What can I say about a toddler who eats zucchini “noodles”
with garlic sauce at the raw food restaurant
who signs “all done” when through eating and also means
all done with sitting in this bleeping high chair
so get me out of here fast mom or I’ll be yelling and I
mean really, really loud.

How much love is there in this child who waves and says
“Hi” to everyone she meets in the food co-op
who blows kisses to the dog in an adjacent car
who plays throw and retrieve the ball
with her dog-sister Maddy who may not be enjoying
the game quite that much, if at all.

Can you measure the determination powering this girl
who takes each challenge and wrestles it to the ground
until she triumphs over that chair she wants to climb into
or some step blocking her way or the yogurt she insists on
eating with her fingers and don’t help me at all, please,
you know I want to, have to, do it all myself
help. not. needed.

What lies out there in the world for this freshly formed person
who delights in each day and the wonders it will hold
who embraces the new and welcomes it to her heart
whose thirteen-month lifetime has grown butterfly wings
like silk so fragile and so incredibly strong
that will lift her gracefully until she is ready to soar.

Brenda Robert
August 1, 2010

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