Explaining to My Daughter
She asks me about the bruises.
I tell her they’re just marbles, darling
that blossomed under my skin, swirls
of black and blue, galaxies of infinite worlds
blooming from my body, evidence of a love
it must be felt.
She asks me about the shouting.
I tell her that papa was just excited,
the shouts, an expression of this bubbly delight,
no different from the shout you would give
when you’re pushed from your swing,
or remember your endless squeals
upon the realization of Christmas morning?
Like that, my dear.
His is a love so
true, the whole world has to hear.
She asks me about the night of the gun.
I tell her that papa was just afraid, like a shining knight
who only draws his sword when faced with dragons,
the instrument, only proof
of his care, his commitment to always
protect us, you and me, with papa, our knight, forever and ever.
His, the kind of love, I
would die for.
Then, my daughter smiles at me,
so tenderly, and says:
“I can’t wait for papa
to come home.”