Today she’s 9.
I wrote this many years ago, when the girls were little, when it was just “she and she” rather than “she and she and he.” But the sentiment still applies.
the elder girl shifts in the chair,
makes room for the scrabbling toddler
desperate to climb up, keep up.
they’re too consumed by giggling into each other’s faces
(when not jostling for cushion)
to notice the shower of white outside,
each flake unique,
the stuff of legend, grade-school science, cliché:
had i taken the trip that one month,
had he gotten stuck in traffic after the errands,
had we said not now, not ready,
would not be.
but others would;
with a passion for insects, say,
or molars that twist up gently, not in a swollen rush.
there would be no quiet listening in church,
no mismatched fold on the ample thigh.
so much, too much chance.
why were these two, particular, crystalline beauties
the ones that floated into our surprised lives?