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    (for Daisy)
by Sharmagne Leland-St. John

I dream a baby inside your belly
you give her the name of a flower
maybe Lily-Rose
after your grandmothers
perhaps Iris or Fern
Hyacinth or Violet

She is born the night
he leaves for the mountain
his clothes are rough
he does not hold her

she curls her small fingers
around his calloused thumb
and cries at the moon

Her eyes are sapphires
her mouth a cupid's bow

She is the end to all our dreaming.

I picture her dressed
from the trunks lavishly filled
with Victorian raiment
saved from my childhood
red silk ribbons woven
into the white lawn bodices

The little yellow corduroy overalls
with a pattern of delicate rosebuds
you wore the day you discovered
your first ladybug while resting
on a park bench in Belgium

Flowered frocks with lacy collars and bows
pastel smocked batiste dresses
I made for you each Eastertide
with bunnies, and teddy bears
rocking horses and garlands of daisies

Her tiny feet clad in
leather huarache sandals
from Olvera Street
(La Puebla de la Reina de Los Angeles)
Your scarlet satin slippers
with embroidered dragons
we bought in Chinatowns
all over the world

A family tradition

Beaded moccasins and espadrilles
the faded cotton sunbonnets
packed away in tissue paper

She suckles your breast
you no longer feel broken.


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