A patch of growing hair on an otherwise bare head,

A thumb in a mouth that speaks

Undeveloped words,

That forms a smile purely for the joy of


Stubby fingers on chubby hands,

Kicking legs and flailing arms.


A stumble across a carpet into a pair of

Loving arms.

A stack of books with outlined letters,

Gentle music that bounces in the background,

A soundtrack to the day.

A hand that throws vegetables across the room

And learns to feed them to the dog.


A plaid shirt, a blouse, a sweater vest,

A hand raised high from behind a desk

Of tan marble.

Eight years spent asking questions

With meaningless answers,

Spent changing and learning

And lost

And finding.


A series of tear-filled hugs in a white car,

A ten-ton weight lifted off of shoulders

That have borne far too much for

Far too long.

Midnights spent in front of a screen,

Watching and reading with eyes that yearn for


Deprived to earn a number.

A promise to try,

Nearly broken hundred times and

Another hundred after that,

Always upheld.


A distance from home

Punctuated by rushed visits that leave

Lungs without air.

A cup of iced coffee sipped on a video chat,

At a table with notes splayed across its surface.

A mouth on a face that has faced the odds,

That forms a smile simply for the joy of


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