I remember the little girl she used to be
in her bright tutus and soft-footed slippers.
She would stand on my feet as we waltzed,
which I couldn't do as well as I pretended.
She's my princess and the laugh as I twirled her around
keeps in my ear a sparkle of light.
I used to take her to the city, dressed up.
We would eat a fancy dinner and go see some show
where her eyes would widen at the magic of the stage
and I had forgotten every song she sang on the way home.
Somewhere along the way she grew up.
She stayed short, like her momma,
but her opinions grew into monumental arguments
in middle school. She kept away from boys.
That made me proud. She knew her own mind.
She’s young still, and a fighter.
I don’t know her as well as I’d like but I love her.
My little girl-- seems like she’s been to hell and back.
Promise me, son: make her laugh, and laugh often.
Take her to shows in the city, all dressed up.
Dance with her, listen to her. Love her.
Love her better than me.