In 2007, the year this photo was taken of my daughter Hannah and me, she asked me a simple question one day. So today, February 2, 2013, on her twenty-first birthday, I am sharing with you how I responded to her question that day:
In Answer to Your Question
You tossed your question deftly in the air
as we talked one evening:
“Will you write me a poem?”
I’ve been thinking about it, and
if I were to write you a poem,
it would be in the color of yellow, like sunshine
splashing playfully over a sea of ripe bananas.
If I were to write a poem for you I would
put your favorite number 11 in it too — a number
with simple symmetry — like gothic columns
holding up a cathedral. In a happy coincidence,
your name is constructed in columns too …
H A N N A H
a palindrome of strength and grace,
the cathedral in which you live.
Mind you, these are just my initial thoughts, but
if I were to write you a poem it would probably be
in the key of A major, because that’s a joyful key
celebrating the sweetness of life and
offering wisps of hope for each new day.
You ask, “Will you write me a poem?”
Yes, my daughter, my little girl,
let me see what I can do.