this summer she skipped and swam
clutched piles of acorns in her hands
her chubby limbs grew long and lean
hair tousled in the warm breeze
hidden treasures in secret places
dreams of ponies and princesses in faraway places
she fell in and out of love and
studied the morphing cloud-shapes up above
friendships were made then quickly forgotten
I dried her weary tears of frustration
this summer she let go of my hand
just for a little while….
Later I brushed the tangles out of her long brown hair, pulled it back.
Too tight! She cried.
I smoothed the creases out of blue checked dresses
(blinking back the tears).
As she tugged white cotton socks up
over bruised shins.
Fastened up shiny black shoes and
fumbled with unfamiliar buttons,
she looked on, concern in her wide hazel eyes.
Don’t worry mummy, I’ll always be your little girl, she said
(I let the tears come).
This summer was hers for the taking,
but she hung back.
She wasn’t quite ready
(I was secretly glad).