I would not stop to contemplate the earth beneath,
nor for a second consider that I
was already in junior high when he was born,
never mind that my daughter is now the age I was
when that star-to-be emerged from the womb,
replete with a tuft of black curls, which I can’t help
but to surmise. The pubescent one views
him in his full, adult glory: deep voice, just enough scruff
to pass as a vampire or Middle Earth heart-throb,
provocatively bedecked in black leather
and a lucky cloud of Irish cadences.
The girl, I’m certain, believes she would reach him first—
fully trusting in her sprightly aptitudes,
and in my usual habit to step aside
in favor of promoting her self-assurance.
True, I’ve not been tough enough on her in some ways—
I’ve resisted going in for a hard tackle
to strip her of a ball at foot in one quick breath,
nor have I generally used my advantage
of momentum in everyday foot-races:
ordinarily, I’ll feign a fall to foster
her confidence in her maturing limbs;
in most cases, I’ll give her a healthy head-start, but
if I saw Aidan Turner walking down the street,
I would at once neglect her youthful sighs,
her earnest blushing, her sweet, redolent gaze
transfixed in goofy stupefaction, and discard
the prospect of the joy I’d feel in watching her watch
herself becoming a woman (through watching him
make love to cameras in a perfect balance
of feigned humility and stunning sex-appeal).
In fact, I’d rather not imagine the abject horror
my impressionable offspring might well suffer,
if I saw Aidan Turner walking down the street.
An earlier version of this poem appeared in Sixfold magazine, winter 2014.
Rest assured, my daughter has since made it to age 16, no worse for the wear.