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Dad and Daughter

My daughter

on the ice

twelve years old

blue skates flashing

black pants,

black coat two sizes too big

a black crow flapping

red pink and blue

cap rakish

barely covers brown curls

flying effortless

around the rink


Now she’s removed

her coat, transformed into

a white and black gull,

now she’s cold again

wants a hot chocolate


Upstairs in the heated pool

she becomes a

blue dolphin, asks,

how many back somersaults

should she do

I shrug, two

she does thirteen

one for next year

like the candles on a cake


She’s captain of

the volley ball team,

juggler in the children’s circus,

plays the guitar

composes her own songs,

she writes short stories

and poems


I sit in a comfortable chair,

come join me she sings

her head dripping diamonds

I’ll swim one more length

then you’ll come. OK?

the water is warm and pleasant

I float on my back

she pops up from somewhere

underneath, wants an ice cream

I swim a whole breadth underwater

to meet her challenge

how old are you Aba she asks-

she knows I’m sixty nine

I’m seventy I reply

no Aba you’re sixty nine

you’re still young,

let’s go bowling

then back to the ice

one more time


Tomorrow she goes back

to her mother

and I go back

to writing poems

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© Johnmichael Simon



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