What am I thinking? (A poem for our daughter)


“What are you thinking about?” you ask,

A few times a day.

Your eyes, as you ask, hold four year old curiosity,

A frisson of anxiety,

A determination to read adults, me especially.

What am I thinking about?

My mind wanders, it’s true,

But never very far from you.

Sometimes, I’m thinking

Have I replied about gymnastics?


Should I book a piano lesson?

Sometimes, I’m thinking

Fierce thoughts of love,

Anxious thoughts fraught with fear,

What ifs and if onlys. 

Sometimes I’m thinking

Back to her. Where is she? What’s she doing?

If only she could see you now?

Did she have these one-of-a kind eyes, this sweet, kind heart?

What if she had a different start?

Sometimes, I’m thinking 

Will you ever know?

How special you are, I mean?

Will you wonder, like I do,

At your own determination?

At your gorgeous, complicated heart?

At your ability to overcome?

Sometimes, I’m thinking

I’m glad you still notice the flowers

And I hope you always will

And I love your smile

And I hope it will stay close at hand

Till the lines around your eyes crease

And I love your singing

And to dance and spin and run

And life is hard, hard, hard

But I hope you’ll wring the joy out of it, too.

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