Three years ago to the hour, the day she was born,
that unmistakable brim and tug of the tide
I’d thought was over. I drove
the twenty miles of summer lanes,
my daughter cursing Sunday cars,
and the lazy swish of a dairy herd
rocking so slowly home.

Something in the event,
late summer heat overspilling into harvest,
apples reddening on heavy trees,
the lanes sweet with brambles
and our fingers purple,
then the child coming easy,
too soon, in the wrong place,

things seasonal and out of season
towed home a harvest moon.
My daughter’s daughter
a day old under an umbrella on the beach,
Latecomer at summer’s festival,
and I’m hooked again, life sentenced.
Even the sea could not draw me from her.

This year I bake her a cake like our house,
and old trees blossom
with balloons and streamers.
We celebrate her with a cup
of cold blue ocean,
candles at twilight, and three drops of,
probably, last blood.