My daughter is a dragonfly and hovers at the edge
of colors soft as the wings that whir around her.
Gentle and wild, she lets her lovers wound her,
lowers her voice and cries, and I try to look away —
trees, the sea, blue sky — whatever allows me to hide
my fear. To protect her I turn my tears into prisms,
let light trickle through the rainbow’s refractions,
let love liquefy the slightest trepidation.
In the pause between silence and breath I realize
she is a woman grown far beyond my reach,
no longer that child I want so desperately to shield
and shelter until all dangerous weather passes.
If only I could be that quiet, sunlit country pond
in a meadow of weeds and Queen Anne’s Lace
where she alights when she needs to rest …
But she says she does not need me
and fields wither in the immensity of failure
to be what she wants her father to be,
praying World, world, don’t take her from me yet.
I am not ready to let go or willing to forget
a single breath that animates her flesh
as she travels beyond what I am,
taking with her the spirit, hope, life and death
of everything heredity willed in our genetic genesis.
A resident of the dank and moldy primal forests of West Tisbury for over 30 years, Lee H. McCormack has been occasionally reported as actually being seen alive, usually from a great distance through high-octane vision-magnifying devices.