Number Four Daughter

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Girl, your dusky eyes
Are changeable as the seasons:
They can brighten and warm like summer;
Be somber as late fall, or haughtily
Respond with the wintry "look that kills."
Sometimes they shine happily
As a rising sun that can set
Too quickly on the shadowy horizon
Of some inner wounding.
The fluid flow of your walk
Would make a work of art
Could painters capture motion.
A toss of your proud head and dark hair,
Flecked with copper in the light,
Is a breaking wave
Across the shore of your shoulders.

You and your personality step out
Briskly, brashly,
Like an image of your childhood days,
Busily dragging a wash basket
Across a lawn; intense, preoccupied,
Moving toward unseen goals
Still beyond our view.

Certainty steels your voice and manner
And skepticism is a close relative
In the bantering line, "I'm sure!"
Yet a hint of vulnerability can intervene;
A youthful hesitancy, curbing
But not quite controlling, impetuosity.
Your nature is quicksilver,
Impatient to be moving quickly
Toward some new compass point:
Awhirl with a boy, lengthy phone chats,
Weekend mountain jaunts,
Soaking up beach rays on golden days,
University classes and selling glasses
And whatever tomorrow may market.

You barter experience, time
And affection in casual encounters,
Preferring to store deeper feelings
Well below the surface
Of your shadowy waters.
Your fleeting presence breezes
Through the branches of our lives;
Older leaves spin and swirl
In the blast, but it will never
Blow cool our love for you.