Villanelle for a Daughter

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You’re growing up—there are a lot of parts:
that is what I told my child.
Be patient and gentle with your own heart.

Sometimes it sucks and sometimes it’s art;
I stayed and rubbed her back a while.
You’re growing up—there are a lot of parts.

Here you’re the horse, there you’re the cart,
but metaphors do little to lighten the pile.
Be patient and gentle with your own heart.

Waves of sadness roll in fits and starts;
they don’t last long but they aren’t mild.
You’re growing up—there are a lot of parts.

With every song, you leave an indelible mark;
never have I known a girl with such style.
Be patient and gentle with your own heart.

Small payment for sweetness, the moments of tart.
(Thank god she’s more than a little wild.)
You’re growing up—there are a lot of parts;
be patient and gentle with your own heart.

3 thoughts on “Villanelle for a Daughter

  1. daniel says:

    Jena–these are wonderful words to your daughter. I never heard such honesty and truth when I was growing up and always have said that maybe it should be taught in school but I guess you need a “good-enough mother”, at least.

    also, a villanelle–you are moving in the style of the fine delicacy of poetry.

    thank you for this

    Like

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