Deep in the attic I found my first poem
written when I was four
on the back of a Methodist church bulletin.
Mother saved it, a decision
based on sentiment not merit.
There is no extended metaphor in this work
no complex symbology
no epiphanic flicker
but the meter is good
and the lines do rhyme, imperfectly.
This juvenile Petrarch had something pure
the old craftsman has lost.

My daughter’s poetry doesn’t rhyme
doesn’t scan, brims with sentiment, and is

I see my soul echoed
in her arched eyebrow
wry observation
ego-flattening riposte
stony silence
The world-weary eleven-year old.
She has carried my torch since the day
she took her first step
no matter how determinedly
she toddled down the sidewalk
away from me.