Let her be healthy and let her be safe.
Let her climb on the turtles and run
through the spray of the Three Rivers
Fountain and when she is old enough,
let her sit on the stone rim of her city
drinking sweet coffee with friends
and laughing right in the face of worry.
Let her draw sidewalk rainbows in chalk
traced from the prism offering
to the quiet of her bedroom wall.
Let her read it as a fable with the moral
broken into all the colors of curiosity.
Let her know the names of the dogs
on her street, count lightning bugs
on Valley Green, borrow your best books,
and blast her raucous music. Occasionally.
let her learn what we all think we know
about chance and kindness and all the small
disasters, about whispering sweet dissent
in the ear of everything gone wrong
and just when all assembled sigh and say,
“Kid, you sure know how to pick a year!” let her
new name remind us of dogwoods in forests,
of footpaths, apples and quiet tenacity,
of perfectly ordinary joy.