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KAY, Lorelei

Wishing on a Braid

Mother-daughter morning ritual,

giggles and wiggles, as I comb

through her long dark hair,

dividing locks into three strands,

while gripping and tugging

at her bobbing head.

First strand over—

How I love

this little girl!

Second strand over—

I hope she’ll grow tall,

happy and strong.

Third strand over—

Yet how I wish she’d always

stay small!

Braiding strands together

Love—hope—wish. Love—hope—

wish. Love—hope—wish.

Nearing the end of the braid,

I pull all three lines taut

like my heart strings

and push down on her head.

“Please don’t grow up,” I whisper

as I fasten the bow.

But she did.