Occasionally, now, she can be prickly,
As hormones without warning ambush her,
Diverting her from habitual dimples and smiles,
Into causeless tears and despairing shrugs.
She does not know why she feels this way,
But I do. I remember.
So I open my arms and pull her close –
Small enough still to tuck under my chin,
With room to spare.
As she nestles into my chest,
Her father’s blue eyes look up at me
From her upturned face, freckled and pale
Like cinnamon sprinkled on milk.
She is all elbows and knees, jabbing into me,
Lithe and lean,
Limbs like knotted rope
From the hours upside down or swinging high
In her purple velvet leotard,
The slightest curves beginning now to break the lines.