If I could just afford to breathe with you…

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by Karem Roitman

 

As I stroke your head

Honey-sweet sleep gently seeps in

Your hand relaxes – revealing a treasured plastic toy…

 

You still smell of caramel and dirt

Still throw yourself into hugs

Heeding no boundaries between your body and mine

 

I pause and breathe you in again

Exhale

Day and night you turn to find me

 

For a story, for a cuddle, for a snack.

For safety.

I am the sky under which you blossom.

 

You run, play, laugh, and fall

I breathe in the fading sunlight on your hair

The joy before a spoonful of ice cream

 

The wonder at seeing the moon through the rain

It is a luxury to caress your perfect skin,

To wake up daily to your smiling eyes

 

But they say I must let others look after you:

To open your horizons – make you less needy

To make myself useful – contribute to the economy

 

If I never cared that no one saw me

That all was counted useless

If I could afford to just breathe with you

 

And be your sky

And watch you grow

What luxury, what need.

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