Charmed one, flower of summer,
everyone’s love child—wearied
of being passed arm to arm,
she comes to my lap on the bench outside the door
where late June sun is spreading
shadows around the goldfish pond.
I whisper to her the litany of what’s before us:
a junco hopping in Indian plum
dragonfly darting for mosquitoes
the black cat slinking toward the rocks
the old dog, Hershey, circling
in the brown shade of rhododendrons.
How the hush of evening settles us.
She leans against me
sucking her fingers softly
and we watch the dusk come on.
In the lush, almost-twilight
breath of the late day,
her new soul is coming to know
this creatured world.
*Originally published in the Pontoon section of Floating Bridge Review No. 5.
Alicia Hokanson, an English teacher for 40 years, continues to read and write in Seattle while enjoying the opportunities of retirement. Her first book, Mapping the Distance, was selected by Carolyn Kizer for the King County Arts Commission Publication Prize in 1988.