A poem by Maria Mazziotti Gillan
My Daughter at 14, Christmas Dance
Panic in your face, you write questions
to ask him. When he arrives,
you are serene, your fear
unbetrayed. How unlike me you are.
After the dance,
I see your happiness; he holds
your hand. Though you barely speak,
your body pulses messages I can read
all too well. He kisses you goodnight,
his body moving toward yours, and yours
responding. I am frightened, guard my
tongue for fear my mother will pop out
of my mouth. "He is not shy," I say. You giggle,
a little girl again, but you tell me he
kissed you on the dance floor. "Once?"
I ask. "No, a lot."
We ride through rain-shining 1 a.m.
streets. I bite back words which long
to be said, knowing I must not shatter your
moment, fragile as a spun-glass bird,
you, the moment, poised on the edge of
flight, and I, on the ground, afraid.
Where I Come From (Essential Poets Series 64)