My prize is these eyes
That fan their blinking adoration with those lashes
Those wings reaching skyward

Lift your eyes, baby
The world wants to flatten you out

Lift your gaze
The view is much brighter
Than the one you inherited

Lift your hands
Always keep them open
You never know what will be placed in them

Lift your voice
It holds more power than you’ll feel
I might need it someday

Your songs pierce the air with their tin can tunes
Your words bury deep in my heart
I cling to them in hopes I’ll never forget them

Your proclamations of knowing
Your manifestos on traffic lights
Your declarations of dance time rules

I hold a vision of you dancing around
In the living room
One arm raised and then the other
Beating the rhythm of your sideways skips
Knees bending high
Heading tilting back and forth

This vision of full self-centeredness
All experience
All presence

And then the moment is gone when you see me watching
Suddenly self-aware
You tuck your smile behind your fists
And run into my arms
Bury your head into my chest
As I squeeze your toddlerness into my breath

I know these moments are fleeting
I know I am counting the minutes
Until you’ll walk away and won’t look back
So I’m holding you for as long as I can
While you need me and want me
Until you come back for me

I see your love expands around us
And I do not take it for granted
I treasure the responsibility