A Gift for Lola

Because she bravely posts about the heartbreak and joy of watching her own daughter “dancing” on the edges of days that don’t seem to fit, and especially for sharing To Understand… at her blog, Lola’s Diner, this poem is a gift for Lola.

Watching My Daughter Dance
by chameleon

I like my coffee dark double
roasted with extra kick,
extra flavor, extra spice, extra larger
than life like I like

So I know how it is when
your days fit your body
like your brother’s shirt
too tight too small not right at all
snugging up against places that
just can’t take that much stimulation.

I do.

I know that stretch inside
you that needs
that needs
that NEEDS
to break through
break down
break out break free
break rules break

because your chest is so tight
that you can’t breathe inside
a day that’s shrunk too small
to hold you.

I could tell you the tricks
I learned to get through, the ways
to break the rules that no one minds
the things (like
extra cream in double dark
bitter to smooth the edges and
keep the bite from breaking through the skin)
that help

But I’d only be giving you
another set of rules to break.

Instead, I hold my breath when you dance and
I can see your skin stretching at the seams
to try to contain you. I just…
hold my breath and put breakables
in reach so that this time
at least this one more time
when the wave breaks inside
what gets broken
won’t be you.

– c. Deb Powers 2007


3 responses to “A Gift for Lola

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this.

  2. Excellent, powerful poem. I’ll keep it in mind as my kids move through their teens.

  3. Deb, you are somethin’ else. I adore you!

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