When she asked me

what love meant

I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed

and cried suddenly.

The memories were stinging and burning and itching

and searing and lightly seasoned with salt and vinegar. 

She started up too.


We stood there,

in our fleece pajamas

crying together.

I looked down into those

pale green child eyes

and had a revelation. 

That was love,

right there.

The bowl of Kraft she'd knocked over

in our sudden tantrum,

the little ladybug barets 

holding her braids,

the way she clutched Mr Kitten,

her beloved puppy toy,

and most importantly

her tears.

She cried when I cried

and I knew she loved me.


Right then and there

I saw every little piece of my heart

get sewn back in place.

I had my girl and she had me.

And that fit of tears and bowl of Kraft and set of braids and pair of green eyes

became my everything. 


I stopped crying

and put in the movie.

We listened together quietly

and as the popcorn finished in sizzling in the microwave

I told her the story 

of the Princess and her frog.

And I was sure to add at the very end

that frogs come in all kinds. 

I love you, little Lily of mine. 

Always know the frogs can say

they love you a million times,

but dearest Lily

cruel sounds too close to kind. 



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