In her father’s favorite boxer shorts, hair pulled back
From a face beautiful, eyes intent always on absorbing
The details of her experience, her surroundings, slight
Changes noticed and kept stored for use, maybe to
Share later, sometimes to hold tightly to her heart
Comfort when feeling lonely for the presence of
Someone she knows, that knows her;
Reciprocity, equal in depth, and knowledge of
The goodness, the humor, and faults that create
Relationships of duration; loves of a lifetime

She has a nonchalant gait and attitude that belies
Her appearance of confidence, allowing me to forget
The tenderness of her heart and the turmoil she
Often feels and tries to understand, her family
Now so different, challenging her attempts
To gain traction on the path she maneuvers
In and around, up and over, sometimes simply
Down where it is cold and warmth takes some
Effort to find for this girl whose soft blanket
Appreciation is pure and genuine, like her mother

This girl, loved at the precise moment she began
Who steadfast in her beliefs will not be bulldozed
Yet wavers at smells and slimy infractions in food
With fitful gags, the facial expression questioning
Us always in that “you can’t be serious?” manner
This girl who sends sweetly rendered messages
Magically when it is just what you need to hear
Now, at the start of her adult life, twenty-one,
My wish is she loves herself, accepts herself
Even half as much as she is loved by all of us

2 thoughts on “Stephanie

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