I remember you, a young, determined ball of red hair,
looking at me from across the stream.
I see the gaze of your hazel eyes, the set of your jaw.
Then you’re down the bank, and into the water.
You swam across to be with me.
I remember you, years later, running towards another stream,
oblivious to the calendar,till you hit the water. But, ah,
Ruby, it was December,
and the water had frozen a crystal blue.
Skating on ice, you smiled at me.
And now, my dear girl, your head held high,
you are on the bow of a boat,
skimming a lake,
sailing into your future.
And away from me.
One day, my sweet girl, I will cross that lake.
I will swim in cold dark water
till I find you.
And I will hold you and play
With your ruby red ears.
We will be together again. Forever.
It was years ago on a warm autumn day.
Freed of a cage
you pressed your heart into my soul.
You trembled but held on tight.
You asked if I would dance with you through life.
Your skinny body and pencil-thin legs
suggested to me
that you most likely had four left feet.
But I felt your heart that day.
I said I would be happy to dance with you.
The piano played in three-quarter time
but, oh, Maggie,
you moved in four-quarter time.
But the music was sweeter with you.
So we continued to dance away the days.
On a cold gray November day
the candles dimmed,
the music faded, the dance ended.
Your giant heart gave out that day
and a piece of my soul evaporated.
One day my girl, I will come for you.
The candles will be lighted and
a slow waltz will play.
I will press my heart into yours
and I will never let you go.
I will ask, “Maggie, will you dance with me?”
And dance we shall forever.