A patch of growing hair on an otherwise bare head,
A thumb in a mouth that speaks
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
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
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,
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