( / West Hartford, CT)


(For Cynthia Ann Dougherty)

Towing your tattered doll,
you would fetch your storybook
and scale my knees to hear
how Sleeping Beauty woke.
My voice, to match a tale,
grated a giant's roar
or whispered of lamp or bean
against your ash-blonde hair.

You clapped each tidy ending,
after fidgeting through the plot:
your smile—at rescue, prince,
embrace—bloomed at the thought.
In that time of once upon,
legend let fall the truth
that a princess is her feeling:
kind words keep a lovely mouth.

I celebrate that now
in your own story's flush,
toss rice at your ivory gown
and raise a father's wish.
Ever-afters recede in mist,
but for the princess shining here
my cheer is plain and easy:
may your storybook endure.

[Pub. in Caduceus, Yale U. Press,2013]

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Comments (5)

Published in Caduceus, Yale U. Press,2013.
The stitching and unstitching all unseen. Adam was never this blessed.
Yes, may they live happily ever after. Wonderful poem about a daughter, as they are all princesses and precious in a father's life.
Yes. Daughter's daughter also recently married.
Lovely. I take it this is about your daughter. Hazel