by Meg Ozia Stockwell

Daisies in her hair – barefoot and wilded
Living on the edge of comfortable.
I let her run across the open plain.
But she cannot climb the trees
Not when I’m not there.

I have to watch her.
I would like her to run and leap
And graze her soft white knees
On old bark and slight stones.

I would like her to scream in her laughter
As she splashes in the shallow river
Squirming in the sharp cold.

I would like to see her live so free.
But when we get back in the car
And I drive her home
And tell her to have a bath
Put some shoes on

As I take her to have the grazes cleaned
The arm she fell on
Checked for health

I see the world look at me,
Bare its teeth.
You left her climbing the oak tree

You wanted her knees grazed and her body cold?
And her life on the edge of comfortable?
We live here in comfortable.

Don’t take her out like a savage.
The daisies in her hair
Are uprooted –
They don’t belong here with us.

We live here in comfortable
Please don’t show your discontent.