Your best friends and favorite dresses
parade down the runway of my mind.
I see you, a slim, young teen, surrounded by children
who think you sweet and smart and funny.
Through a tearful scrim,
I imagine you in high school and college,
bubbling with life, striving to excel,
sighing over first love.
Why can’t I see you now?
Would your face be lined?
Your hair streaked with gray?
Would your children rise up and make you happy?
Your husband praise you?
Last night I tried to see you as a mother,
but you hovered out of sight.
I lay in bed and mourned my child
who never turned fourteen
and won’t appear at forty-eight.
Today you smiled at me through crisp blue sky,
still sweet and smart and funny.
Tonight I huddle in my bed and yearn.
You’re still here: forever thirteen.