* * * * *


the young child
in her beautiful clothes
adored and held
by her doting grandfather
shines with promise
proof of the brilliant creative spark
of our explosive origins
and although she can be petulant
spoiled too
ice cream staining her blouse
as she says, “no, no, no”
and won’t wash her hands
or sit very still
or do anything it seems
the way you want it done
as she ignores you,
insults you,
adores you,
and touches you
actually rubs her hands across your grizzled old face
those soft incredibly talented hands
with the sticky ice cream on them
looks you in the eye as no man or woman ever does
and breathily says, “i love you”
like a starlet
and in her exhale you smell and remember
the sweet pure baby’s breath of her mother
the diapers you changed bent over the crib of her youth
when your back didn’t ache
though your heart and soul did