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Thinking of My Daughter's Voice on Election Day
written by: Rebecca Villineau
I am brushing my daughters hair before school,
a thick pile of chestnut and blonde
with maple syrup from her morning waffles
stuck in some strands.
This is our morning ritual.
Me in my pajamas still with
a cooling cup of coffee.
The day rising
and my daughter's warm
body leaning into my arms.
Today I am some how reminded of her voice.
How passive it sounded on the play yard one
afternoon when a boy pushed her.
How it seemed to fold into itself
like those notes I would make into
footballs in seventh grade.
Folding each side until
my message could fit neatly in my palm.
I worry I gave her this.
The small silent rising of sound
from our mother's throats,
from my mother and grandmother and grandmother before.
How we have been taught
to shrink in this world.
I want to teach her different.
Encourage her push this morning as
she reaches back as I pull her
hair into the band,
grabs my fingers and unwraps the elastic.
Letting me know she wants to wear her hair down.
Just before she turns to face me,
I can feel the push of her body lifting,
her height suddenly emerging.
Her hair already unruly.