About My Daughter, With Thanks

by Mike Soares


Slowly waking on the couch
               tangled hair and vinyl babies
Saturday morning cartoons brokering
               transition to busy afternoon.
My coffee in hand
               her sticky maple-syrupped hand in the other
Among blankets in a couch cocoon
               giggling at silly sponges and foolish starfish.

Morning ends and she will negotiate house space
               among her older brothers
Asserting dominance in the rooms
Now a tea party
               with stuffed bears and robots
Now a teacher, like daddy, her students
               smudged plastic and beeping wearily with worn batteries.
Her frills and delicateness still alien to me
Her conviction and tenderness
               compelling almost beyond what I can bear.
So much like her mother.

Her mother screams. Before I can even turn she is halfway across the neighbor’s
yard. The car pinning Abbie by its bumper, to her tricycle, on its side on the driveway.
Shaking, the teenager stumbles out. “I’m sorry. I didn’t see her.” Repeating. I ignore
him and hold my stunned daughter’s sticky hand. Too shaken to cry over the welt on her
leg, even now a reminder. Too shaken to thank ministering spirits standing against the
green hatchback. Who kept her when I could not. Until now.

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