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poem: all my might

all my might

the middle daughter comes to visit

she rakes leaves in the yard while

I sit nearby but safely far away and

we chat about change and the wild

violets that chose today to reveal their

purple mystery and later when I am

pulling winter off the strawberry bed

she tells me about the thing that makes

her sad and we lean forward for the

hug that comes naturally and then

pull away with a yard of air still open

between us because nowadays we do

not share a bubble in space that way

and the whole time she is here I have

to resist the urge to ask her in for tea

or to reach out a hand and finally while

I sit again she passes behind me with

the rake and plants a kiss on the top

of my head like a blessing while I hold

my breath from the effort of not grabbing

her in for a squeeze because if you had

ever told me there would come a day

when I cannot hold my baby when she

is sad I would have told you to fuck off

with your bad vibes but here we are

I'm learning to love with all my might

and keep my hands in my lap too

~ Dina Stander, April 25, 2020 / covid poems

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