Working from two prompts today: the Writer’s Digest challenge to write a poem including a prime number, and the vague but interesting 30/30 prompt, “tomorrow today.” Apologies for sappiness, but that’s the way I get about my kids.
At Eleven Our heads are together and I can smell citrus shampoo in her still-damp hair, toothpaste on her breath when she tells me I’m worried about growing up. I know it’s not so-much the body she inhabits, the lengthening limbs and widening nose, that brings on this mental weight, but the bigger world. The thing I have no explanation for. The thing I too feel the press of, and understand that at eleven, she can already sense the goodness of childhood sullying, the way a frenzy of expanding bubbles start to pop and fade the minute the water stops. Inevitable slide into something new, that will contain so much greatness, yes, but also expose harsher truths. Tomorrow things, seen without sheen or shadow disguise. I cannot admit that I too worry about her growing up, not because I lack faith in her, but because I know it’s harder to walk once you notice what you’re carrying. And I want to shoulder it for her as long as I possibly can.