That Day…A Poem

The inspiration for this diary was the perfect Sunday I spent with my 12 year old daughter. ( who will officially be named Little O. We talked about the new school she tested into and will begin 7th grade next semester, about her friends and the school she will be leaving, her piano recital and the math placement test she took the day before and thought she did well on both, about all the sports teams she’s on now, we swapped YouTube videos, she helped me choose a new 4g phone and we played catch in the local schoolyard. Later that night, she did drawings of Japanese anime while I wrote this poem, combining the two videos we shared earlier that day.

Little O and I have a long tradition of sharing YouTube videos and we normally trade one or two with each other on our visits, usually music, sometimes science related or funny animal videos. When she was younger she loved FailBlog and we used to laugh for hours as she played them over and over, but that day she sat me down to listen to a few songs by Birdy, a young singer/songwriter whose big break came just recently, when one of her recordings was chosen to be in the movie soundtrack for ‘The Hunger Games.’

Play the Birdy music video and just let it play while you
read the poem, then play the time lapse video with sound off.
If you give the poem a nice slow read, the music should end
just as the last frame appears in the time lapse video.
Little ‘O’, I have a video for you to watch.’


‘Daddy, listen to Birdy, she’s only fifteen, she’s from England.’

‘Wow, that’s an incredible voice for a fifteen year old,
how did you find her music?’

‘Her song was in ‘The Hunger Games.’

‘Did you like the movie, I know you loved the books?’

‘The books were much better.’

‘Yeah, you’ll find that will probably happen a lot.
Her songs all have a sadness to them,
I love sad songs though, I always have.’

‘I do too, daddy!’

‘This whole album is a melancholy mood piece,
I like it a lot. Do you know what melancholy means?’
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She arrives looseygoosey through the door, light on her toes
despite a few days of separation, for years the weekly ritual,
our grey to grey eyes meet and her skin color mine, though
reaching down to kiss her forehead seemed easier that day.

My hands could always, effortlessly wrap around,
fingertips meeting at her sometimes ponytail,
or mingling among those tangled golden curls.

And when did her head snug in at my chest when we hugged?
Like the kitchen door frame penciled ever higher in our old house,
maybe our bodies will mark those imperceptable passages now?

Time, it seems to move so slowly until that day, when it doesn’t.
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9 thoughts on “That Day…A Poem

  1. she’s so pretty. that must have taken a million years to make:
    i’ve never seen anything like it.

    • unfortunately it’s not my video, it’s a Swiss video artist and his explanation was that he filmed his daughter every single day from when she was born, to the day she turned 12. it is quite amazing, and when i wrote that poem last year my daughter was 12 also, so it was just perfect.

  2. Beautiful! The song, your poem and the video…the music was perfectly timed with the reading and viewing…how do you do that?!

    • ty Melanie. you know, i can’t tell you other than it’s intuitive. ilisten to a song over and overwhile i’m writing and the words just somehow follow the music. this was the first poem i ever wrote
      almost 3 years ago and i didn’t write another ’till April 2013. it became the template for how i write now…funny how things work out, isn’t it?

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