Trampoline

In the air I’m a kid, split second floating, suspended, before gravity tugs me back to the coiled elastic mat. Legs, torso, shoulders, body of pounds, my weight denting the flexible floor. Calve muscles support the landing, trembling energy moving like a feeble pogo stick. Is that all you’re gonna do, just sit there jumping up and down? My daughter asks. As if I have a choice, as if I could leap spontaneously, do a flip or twist. I smile watching her limbs lunging carefree, that song Riptide playing in the background, the one we both like. This is all I can do, but I won’t stop. I say like the middle-aged man that I am. Do a trick, come on, she cajoles. Deliberate, I push harder, hop higher, watch this, touch my toes in mid air. That’s your best? She laughs. I just grin, glad that I’ve fooled her, glad that she thinks there’s more in the tank.

She’s Twelve

I turned twelve once
the party was chaotic
all boys tackling boys
football on the lawn

she is totally different
sitting by the pool
laughing with her friends
5’5 a girl woman

talks about Victorian houses
between ballet kitchen twirls
in the shower forever
singing Shawn Mendes songs

her door closed now
at night reading alone
wants a phone because
her friend has one

we watch Mamma Mia
imagine her in Greece
want to freeze time
keep us both young

I embrace it all
childhood has to go
teenager around the bend
beginning of the end