Wednesday, January 21, 2009

First Lesson

First Lesson

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man's float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

--Phillip Booth

Dear Ayla,
These are your footprints, running across
maybe the best day of my life.

I wrote it all down so someday I could tell you.
(so someday I would not forget)

How you played in the beach froth,
fearless, one day in December.

How you ran,

How you smiled and
spread your arms.

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