EDGES STITCHED AND CROSSED

Collars turned
and blanket ribbon trims
stitched up for you. . .
to buy
your tutelage
to turn the squeaky wheel
with but a pinky,
to turn that boat
that was your car
as, at sixteen,
I learned to steer. . .

You lived quite near. . .
but still,
my youthful self
you
just begrudgingly
escorted to my school
one dark spring evening. . .

I was eighteen. . .
your daughter still,
but, as you pointed out,
no more a little girl. . .
for you the father-daughter dance,
though once a novelty
both fun and welcome
had by then,
you said,
its time ticked out
and turned back to a pumpkin. . .

Each slice of time
so short
and quickly done
and gone away. . .

And then,
four more years
scarce passed. . .
I stayed beside your bed
that slow slow day. . .
and kissed your face
after you
had breathed your last.

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