Parenting By Heart


Her chubby hands grab the photos,
the irreplaceable photos,
from my desktop.
Chocolate and folds or rips
would be the death of my project.

Sensing I would thwart her will
she toddled to the far side of the house
and by willpower alone stopped me
from using my superior size and strength
to retrieve the precious pieces.

I saw her,
really saw her,
defiant, beautiful in her fire.
I surrendered, not to her
but to the will of Life itself.
My mind relaxed, my tension eased.

“Would you like to look at these pictures with me?”
Tension drained from her as well
as she handed over the glossy 4x6 treasures.
What’s that?” she asked fifty times
and fifty times I answered.

I felt her tender cheek resting on my shoulder
and preferred that to her cries of outrage.
Thankful that I had been graced
by that shift in perspective,
I surrendered my heart to hers once more.

This poem appeared in the chapbook "Grief Tattoos" - get it for the Kindle HERE

©2008 Christopher Reilley

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