Saturday, February 1, 2014

Amy is turning four

Amy is turning four. She chirps "up, up"
when she's cold outside, needs her heart
and body warmed. I still give in she's my last
child. When my arms are tired she clings legs
wrapped tightly around my waist arms
around my neck holds herself with monkey strength.

When she climbs out the bath I use the hooded
towel bundle her wet shoulders scoop
her in my arms. I try to hold her like a baby
as long as she'll let me, her clean wet face
looking up at me. I ache for chunky baby legs,
for years ago when I could swaddle
and bounce her, smile silly faces until she laughed.

I tell her never grow up, as if she can
help it, but I mean what I say. Never stop
loving your mommy, cling to her, give her kisses,
cuddle up as she holds you. When she turns
four she will enter the little girls world
beginning with a dress up princess tea party.
Her court of four year old friends will surround
her, she will begin to feel grown up.

During which I will look at her baby
pictures on the wall, and pine for her chubby
round face, replaced by a mane of long brown
hair too big for her body like a caricature.
As I stare at her, a phantom teenage
Amy will flash in my eyes like a camera
snapping a picture of her all grown up.
I mourn time, the baby thief.

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