She leaps from the page
galloping from room to room
as the deer, Feline, stopping
to ask, "Why?" Now she is
Angelina, a mouse ballerina,
a pink twirling skirt calling,
"1, 2, 3 like me!"
She says pants are un-royal.
She is a princess, any
princess, in an ill-fitting gown
and a plastic crown. She dances
with the prince off-stage pulling
focus from the play. All choose
to watch the real girl,
pretending to be Belle.
She is like Mary and Laura,
a farm girl, listening to her own
pa, Daddy, read pioneer stories,
covering her ears when she is scared,
but demanding he continue.
She climbs into a car
with Mommy to run away from
everything that chases them.
They find a good land
to explore far from
tall garden weeds.
She climbs a rock near the cabin
pushing everyone up this
mountain they never wished to ascend.
She holds back sorrow with tiny hands.
It is her great power. (But her
fingers gape, and sadness escapes.)
Once, she helped her Grammy
plant the garden, now she grows
like a little flower from her Grammy's hand.
We thank God that Anna remembers her.
We beg God for mercy as Anna remembers
each tear that fell while she was three.
Now she reaches out her hand
and says, "what shall we do today?"
Today she is four and we have grown
old. Our joy is another year.