This child is still in my lap
legs forming a hard T, jutting
an unfamiliar hard line from and against mine.
But also resting her rounded cheek, no angles,
on my leg.
She looks up.
I look down.
The future lays out similarly before us.
Perhaps there is a cold front looming beyond the mountains, ready
to drop its cold winds in our midst.
Or there is the long flatness of a desert road
gondola rides in Venice
the rhythmic ecstasy of carnival
or, even, the curling up in soft grasses, hushed
by prairie winds and geese overhead.
I lay my head back on the pillow
close my eyes against what comes.
She grabs my own cheek, little hand on hard plane,
and whispers good morning, dear red bird,
good morning to you.