In deep winter I remember
my wife and me on the couch
when our five-year-old daughter
leapt onto my lap
and threw her arms around us.
We were inside and a healthy fire
lit the room. The windows
had gone black with night.
The good scent of cinnamon
on our breath gave us the gift of feeling
alive with splendor and we smiled
as our daughter relaxed into the cradle our bodies made.
Earlier we’d been out running ourselves
down the mountain with nothing beneath us
but snow and speed. Cloaked in white robes, the trees
stood still and tall as giants and we flew
among them like hungry blackbirds
whose laughter chattered on the wind. Together we ate
snow from a downfalling sky like it would sustain us forever.
Our daughter is grown now and will soon go elsewhere to dream
her bright dreams under another roof. So I remember her as she
was then and always will be, and me asking her, Why do I love you so much?
and her sitting up earnest and solemn as she gripped our faces
in her light-bearing hands and said, Because you were made to love me.
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