“We are so alike,” I wrote a few days ago. And then, today, this poem appears in my inbox. It captures an essence of being Aviva’s mama – and of being a person. Thank you, John, for knowing me so well and sending me poems like this one:
by Erin Murphy
My daughter wants to take
a framed oil painting to school,
a nude with loose breasts and a belly
ripe as the full moon. Why? Because
we’re studying frogs, she says,
and it’s a frog. I cock my head
to consider the angle of the draped arm
but can’t get past the female form.
My daughter, though, is swimming
in amphibians, bringing home
scribbled pictures of tadpoles sprouting
splayed feet. At night, she sleeps
in the bedroom I painted pink,
her shelves lined with confectionary
teapots and cups. By day, she wants
to be her brother when she grows up.
Lately, she’s morphed into
a creature who’d rather squirm free
than be held. O, how we see what we
want to see. My daughter, looking at
a nude, sees a frog for show-n-tell.
I look at her and see myself.