Squiggles and Me

I think I got her now.
I bring over colored felt tip markers, non-toxic, washable–
only they don’t wash too good.
What she likes is how the top of one pen fits
into the bottom of the other,
so I put them together,
she takes them apart.

I add paper and we take the tops off the pens.
Immediately she draws on the paper, not the coffee table nor the rug.
She scribbles on the paper, then discovers her skin,
then her mom’s skin, and we sort of get into trouble.
(Her grandma won’t let me make Squiggles’ nose red, or mine.)
Squiggles does a great job on her knee
which is still blue by the time I leave on Monday.

She lets me pick her up now. I take her out on the balcony.
She blinks thrice absorbing the bright sun
and goes very still, looks down on the street and passing traffic from so high up
and we pluck purple petunias from Grandma’s planter.
I spin one into a twirly bell and she can spin it too.
She’s so very fair. The side of her face is made out of bubbles
and her blonde hair looks transparent.
She probably weighs about 97 pounds, or does when I hold her long.

Inside, I get down on the floor with her—
get down, get up, get down, get up—so now it hurts to sit here.
Lying next to Squiggles’ gram, I take her hand
and think of the little blonde, and my heart swells for both of them.
I lie there with a swelling heart and decide to live forever.