[for my daughter, Charlotte, on the occasion of her third birthday]

astonishing, brilliant and bubbly,
and altogether lovely;
melodious in song and giggle,
delights in being tickled;
acrobatic, charismatic,
magical to the core;
by turns, winsome and audacious,
always clever, sometimes outrageous,
she’ll never be a bore!



I have shed tears,
not simply for what could have been
or for that which never was and never could be…

I have shed tears of gratitude
for the nearly narrow escape,
the breach in the wall that was too often passed over.