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Poem for My Daughters
by Lucille Lang Day

First, your eyelids flutter, then suction breaks.
Your brow wrinkles. A crescent of milk
ripples from your mouth, and a smile
curls at my breast. I plan to watch you grow,
not like a flower, to bloom and fade,
but like a tree–an evergreen–a tamarind
with hard wood and tart fruit. I see
your sturdy branches stretching,
yellow blossoms shimmering–a million moons.

Your sister doesn't hear the morning sounds:
your candid wails, the typewriter
clacking like a train. She lies coiled
and silent as a seashell. Her skin
is moonstone-smooth, lucent, in the first light
filtering through her curtains.
I have watched her grow. She climbs
like a vine, assured, a liana
entwining a jungle tree. Limbs and vine
ascend together, the core of the rain forest.

Remember, daughters,
you weave your destinies with leaves and light;
you dream in textures of wind.
I see you growing, close to earth and sky,
Liana and Tamarind,
agile, rugged, becoming yourselves.


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