On Your Birthday Night

As you turn nine,

my daughter, I see

how time stretches and shrinks,

and becomes simply,

that one moment.


You are not a baby anymore,

so why do I watch you sleep?

Tiptoe in the middle of the night,

to check your windows

Are they locked?

So no one can take you

from me,



If there is no rise

and fall

of your chest, then my hand


every so tenderly,

touches right where

your heart is.




I can sleep tonight.


You are not a baby anymore,

but we yearn to snuggle each other,

those random weekend nights,

I hold you,

as if you were still

my baby.


Safety, life continues,

we both feel it.


As I lie, watching

you roll over to me,

face against mine, eyes closed.

Dreaming, of another day,

Happy, innocent.

If you exhale, and I inhale,

exhale, you inhale,

then do we become part of each other,

do my lungs receive,

pieces of you,

were these pieces of Ben, you became,

as you fed him his bottles,

and you both,

Inhaled, then Exhaled?


There will come a day,

when you will ask,

and read,

want to know,

and not understand

my answers, because the world will still

be all Good in your eyes.

But I will have to show you,

and you will see,

and we will grieve again together,

so it will be your task, as you grow

and Live and Learn,

to transform that which you will not understand.


But, that day is not now,

for on your birthday night,

you are still my baby,

as I inhale your




* My oldest daughter turned nine on April 14th. Happy Birthday love! What a happy, mature, and kind young lady you have become. I love you!