She looks at me out of kindergarten eyes.
Five years old, not smiling,
knees a bony touch against the chair,
and all the other classmates leaning in,
smiling with toothless hope.
I am she, the one with baby soft eyes,
and my pigtails align as if they'll swing
when I finally stand to leave.
Did the photographer say smile?
She sits there with hopeful expectations.
Every day I pass the dusty shelf
where the tattered photo
lolls against old best sellers,
sometimes scamper a finger across the grain,
ashamed of letting my baby self
down once more.
Last year I made a promise
based on her eyes, as she measured my days.
All my life lies in that suspended glance,
her hope not yet set in motion.
I mean to finally cloak myself in courage.
Yet each day I awaken clad in my habit,
like an old nun dressing in the dark.
I look into her black and white Kodak eyes.
I love her, still waiting to begin.
Dare I hope she loves me,
the self who wove and hammered,
who spun the whole cloth?
In the end I promise to give her
a celebration of ourselves,
and the wish that there be time
to change the want into wings.
copyright/ all rights reserved/ 2012