No fear is greater, no love is deeper, than that of a parent.
This poem is about my amazing, difficult, beautiful, funny, complex daughter, Hannah. 16 going on 38 going on 5.
SHE IS PLASMA
She flits in and out of my life like a restless lover
Sweeps through the house with her impossible humour
and unfathomable beauty.
Eats my food.
Sucks up my bandwidth.
And consumes my heart.
I want to catch her in a butterfly net
Or a steel trap of parental self-righteousness
But the act of containment changes that which is being contained.
She curls up at the end of my bed,
and speaks of diverse subjects.
Like a reverse Sheherazade, I cling to her every story,
each one keeping her alive to me.
I listen to her take on the world, and wonder: Have I taught her well?
She sits cooly, laptop aglow
Spreading her love around Instagram, and Facebook.
Perhaps I should send her a friend request?
Sometimes I throw caution to the winds and leap on her,
squeezing her so hard she bleats a muffled “Get off me!”
Like a jilted mistress, I obey, and crawl back to my yearning darkness.
So I revert to admiring her from afar,
letting out the bitter sigh of the unrequited paramour,
and get on with the dishes.