That Reminder of Parenthood

i didn’t get a photo
 of that bright face looking out from the crowd
 of the circle of middle school spur-of-the-moment dancers
 jamming to a Middle Eastern tune
 with their white black brown faces
 and her Latin American dress spinning out from under
 a tunnel of happiness
 there is no way
 no possible way
 my phone could have captured
 the enraptured joy of that moment
 of the confidence instilled back into my
 fifth-grade-turned-sour timid child
 who has found her place
 in the oft-militaristic
 ever-loving ever-respectful
 intensity of love
 that is this school
 and when i see those
 bright twelve-year-old eyes
 shining back at me
 because she knows i know
 (to pain and back, we’ve been)
 it is that moment of parenthood
 that reminder of why we are parents
 why we bring them into this world
 and spend our Saturday nights inside a school
 eating foods from around the world
 listening to the intricate threads that sew together our humanity
 why we love
 why we live
 why we still hope
 for a better tomorrow


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