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My Daughter at 14 Christmas Dance 1981

Written by: Maria Mazziotti Gillan | Biography
 Panic in your face, you write questions
to ask him. When he arrives,
you are serene, your fear
unbetrayed. How unlike me you are.


After the dance,
I see your happiness; he holds
your hand. Though you barely speak,
your body pulses messages I can read


all too well. He kisses you goodnight,
his body moving toward yours, and yours
responding. I am frightened, guard my
tongue for fear my mother will pop out


of my mouth. "He is not shy," I say. You giggle,
a little girl again, but you tell me he
kissed you on the dance floor. "Once?"
I ask. "No, a lot."


We ride through rain-shining 1 a.m.
streets. I bite back words which long
to be said, knowing I must not shatter your
moment, fragile as a spun-glass bird,


you, the moment, poised on the edge of
flight, and I, on the ground, afraid.


Maria Mazziotti Gillan
Copyright © 1995



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