Daughter

Inherit my smile, my thundering joy
A tone ring of banjo, a remnant of sin,
That you may sing like a blues woman.

We are not what we imagined,
Penny whistle marks
On southering gales
Hoping for remnants of joy.

You with almond eyes
Listening like the biblical Mary
To what leans in from far Cassiopeia,
Taking a pounding in the waves,
Are meant for greatness of heart
Like the woman who gave you to me.

Sorrow’s boat is narrower than yours.
The shadows in your room
Hold only shoes.

Find in the river delta
what was left for you
By the mother you never knew,
For all our love flows through you
Lying rough and real against your collarbone.

Eat this bread, take this cup,
For all that is real,
for all that we knew.
The playground swing
and the climbing tree you hid in
Is where the real you came out
To say hello to the world.

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