Around the lighted Yule tide tree
We gather as a family while
With a smile she flips a crafted cover
Designed by the creative mother
Who nurtured, coddled and bottled her
And now offers another gift adorned
With images multi-aged: A hedge
To guard her child's heritage.
Singly and in groups, the actors
Peer and preen at the lens
And pace across the album's stage.
They play and pose in various sets
Depending upon place, mood or moment
Of each selected special event;
The capture of each thespian face
And group precisely, lovingly spaced.
Skillfully the panoply bespeaks
Of those who mixed, loved and bred;
Strode along the path that led
To her tiny entry on life's stage
And her steps from phase to phase.
The pages burn years to chronicle
Visages and homes and cull
A web of crossroads intertwined
For her time-travel memories to find
Wonder and drama in what has passed
So fast--it seems merely a blink
In time-- a tool to sift the links
And myriad lives and personalities
Who enabled her vault to a new century.
Young and vibrant, maturing and bold
With Air Force years yet to unfold
She will add to well-worn pages
As she performs through marching ages;
Christmas will retain color and songs
As younger figures come along
With other voices to trade
For those of previous tableaus that fade.
While there is time, we review her small--
Unlike her mom, a woman tall-
In a photo, as a child nose-to-nose,
With a gorgeous New Jersey flower
Near the Blackwater stream
Making clear our choice for beauty.
Under the watchful eyes of adults,
Floating down another river, encircled
And spinning in an inner tube;
Or dressed out in her Sunday-best
For church across the Jersey border.
And over decades not far back,
School events like soccer and track;
Halloweens and picnics and a parade
On a warm Independence Day,
Strolling hand in hand
With an aunt, looking like
A miniature Uncle Sam;
In pigtails, squinting
In the sunlight at a beach;
Birthday parties and charades,
Other games like tag and cards;
The assortment of houses and yards
And open, safe neighborhoods.
And on to lovely womanhood.
The list goes on and on
Detailing strong family bonds;
Her flights and footsteps
Gracefully filling new frames.
Still some older photo-figures remain
To commemorate the high regard
Of parents, relatives and friends
For the promise, flash and fire
Of our latest and youngest high-flier.