the sweetest smile

the sweetest smile
from this tiniest face
paints playful palettes
of gold and green
across my quiet soul

one look is all
appalling stealth and
wealth and leaving
artless deceptions dangling
in petulant wonder

for this, my lords and
ever torporous ladies
is what life really looks like
when languid you decry
the brightness of day

Me and my baby girl, Leona Mae

the tiniest fingers

tiny fingers fidget expectantly
cultivating flowers from mist,
teasing timid white to blossom
into eager green and petals
proudly, your petulant pink

eyes laughing, determined
to spy what others do not
the bright panorama of fairies
flitting and ponies prancing
richly across your open heart

untainted yet by mortal fears
how true your colors flow
engendered in a fertile stream
of sweetest unmade sincerity
dancing daisies and dewdrops

My wee princess Leona Mae playing in Nature (October 2020)

it astounds me

just how much she can do
at so young so tender an age
how deeply she floating feels
how fully she unerringly knows
my tiny yet ever growing one

i revel in her honest smile
which is nothing if not transcendent
my thoughts trembling with her laughter
so joyfully contagious
and her eyes translucent with hope

when she reaches for my hand
i feel empowered to become
the father i have always wished to be
able to see colors where there are none
and hear whispers of joy

when she cries i fear the very world
will shatter around me
and wrapping her in my arms
i kiss her cheeks waiting for that moment
when my heart can sing again

after goodbye

i did believe once that when my daughter left
closing the door swiftly behind her
smiling sweetly into her future
smiling beyond me with the naïve
and native brilliance of unspoiled youth
that i, quite simply, ceased to exist

i would drive away listening to whispers
chastising my heart, stupidly sniffling
gripping the wheel, glancing left and right
and remembering to sternly extinguish
such foolish hope before it could do
any more damage to my tattered soul

so convinced was i of my meaninglessness
that i courted sorrow like a committed lover
braving rejection even for the thrice cherished
chance to demonstrate how empty life
had suddenly become, so convinced in fact
that i neglected to see how full my life could be

time sits with me now in eager remonstrance
that i never forget how i too am loved
how the sun rises brisk and boldly beaming
over a world made more fertile and true
by, my darling, you—in whose heart am i
more than just a shadow of my former self

i see the two of you sitting closely together
in the light of day embracing warmth and
laughter with a voracious and enviable appetite
i see my little one follow your words
your very movements, comforted by your smile
encouraged by your wit, and i am enthralled

by the loving heart of you
by the deepening hope of she
and by the knowledge
that we three together
will write this world anew

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asena

asena, have i ever told you
my darling little one
how your fingers so small
tracing my graying hair
calm the worries of my heart

how the weight of you
squirming on my bowed back
is lighter than wishes
as your wildly woven hair
tumbles across my neck

how the sound of your laughter
rattles the mountains
to the east and to the west
inviting the trees around them
to dance like silly pixies

how your voice echoes
off the walls like rainbows
sliding perfectly painted hues
across an enchanting world
in colors that cradle my soul

someday i pray you too
will know the joy i feel
when you gently hold a child
of your own in your arms
and smile the sweetest blessings

into her
wondrously
tiny hands

Salt Lake City 08 Apr 2013