Tomorrow my daughter turns nineteen.
A neophyte in the circles of women,
she advances with no pause or turn
to grasp for receding circles of childhood.
She did that last year
This morning my brother announced
the birth of his second girl child.
I spoke to my six-year-old niece
who had wished for a sister
One brother was more than enough.
Now she wants bunk beds, a toy box that locks
She senses the price tags thumbtacked to wishes.
Over lunch, over the phone, my sister shared
the latest day smile and night tempest of her daughter,
three months old, the first child.
When my mother died my daughter was seven,
my sister only seventeen.
Her circles colliding, she turned around a woman
standing in a link where the child should have been
Tonight I learn of a close friend’s miscarriage,
of her brush with death during delicate surgery.
Mother and child, their circles colliding,
were linked for a heartbeat
while passing through twilight sleep.
I look out at the moon
drawn by the sway
as the circle flows into and out of itself.
Copyright © 1989 Pam Patterson