as the wind tangles the rain*
It took so long to learn that the breeze on my face
started as the wind in China. Much like it took 16 years
and no time at all to know you woke me up to love.
My all-encompassing forward motion held itself
to your brown-eyes and I was done. I mean not done:
I still hold the world with one taunt fist: yearning for everything!
While the other opens to the sound a baby makes when she wants.
And my girl, you wanted so well that I was fixed to the rocking chair, transfixed really
my hormones letting go of carrying you while some of your cells course through me still.
You claimed me as yours as surely as my tears are remaking me as less yours every day.
Sixteen and side-hugging me in short bursts while we staccato step toward what-comes-
next-and-how-to-like-it. You like it 99 percent until your laundry needs washing.
And I, I like how you laugh so loud your joy carries to me no matter where you are in our
home. I like that. I like knowing if the wind hits my face while you’re far away from me,
chances are it was pushed by your laugh on the other side of Puget Sound. That’s how
love works: It’s a wind that dances between us even when the sea waves split us in two.
-Nancy Schatz Alton, 1.31.2018
*title is a line from The Fatalist: Time is filled with beginners by Lyn Hejinian
*What Comes Next And How to Like It is the title form Abigail Thomas’ latest memoir
6 thoughts on “She’s 16!”
That was lovely.
Lovely! And happy birthday to your dear daughter! xo
Thank you! Somehow I knew this might be something you’d like to read!
Happy Birthday Caroline.
Loved the poem.