It came upon a midsummer clear day’s dream . . .
the mother wrote.
“Bubbles,” her daughter said,
putting the magic-filled wand in her lap.
With one blow,
the mother filled the room
with little floating Cinderella coaches
turning back into invisible pumpkins.
. . . that Gloria saw a princely frog,
resplendent in the golden pond . . .
“Ring-a-rosie,” her daughter said,
and the mother took her in her arms,
spinning her round and round
in the desk chair—
a makeshift merry-go-round,
giggles of delight making a circle
like the rings of Saturn.
. . . and wondered if this was the one.
The mother pondered her next sentence.
“Rowrow song,” her daughter said,
and it was, “. . . If you bring the coffee,
don’t forget the cream . . . er.”
The daughter giggled,
for mommy’s penchant for lots of
whipped cream with a little coffee
was their little joke.
True love was like that . . .
She smiled, knowing what
her next sentence would be,
but the oven timer went off just then,
and the daughter clapped her hands,
knowing the blondies
had browned just enough
to be chewy—
her favorite texture for the week.
The mother went to the kitchen,
to assemble the Dagwoods for Daddy’s lunch,
showing her daughter how to become
a sandwich artiste,
and then went back to work,
letting animal crackers pacify for now,
singing about the zoo in soup.
There were jumping and swinging,
and games of Build-and-Bash;
of putting things together,
only to take them apart;
of singing about bridges falling,
and buses filled with all kinds of people,
doing silly things;
of going barefoot in the backyard,
turning on the spigot,
and kicking whatever ball had been left out.
For the mother,
there was the seeing of old things
in new ways,
and for the daughter,
of seeing things as if for the first time.
An hour went by,
the mother not realizing
how much she needed this—
as much as the child who delighted
in her attention.
When the daughter went down for her nap,
her little hands clutching her pink elephant
covered with tags and flower tattoos,
. . . One waited their whole life for it,
not knowing who,
but loving that someone before they knew.
Her husband came through the door,
but she continued.
. . . It tended to come from somewhere behind,
where princesses had already been.
Love was a different way of seeing.
Her husband kissed her on the cheek,
her eyes on the screen as her fingers
pounded on the keys,
creating a music one could only see.