Photo by Rudri Bhatt Patel

by Eréndira Ramírez-Ortega

for Esther

Watching my daughter swim in ripples
over the prickled floor of a wading pool
I’m spilled in a chair, beads of sweat under my shades,
the falcon mother poised to dive. Why is it
when I let her go
she becomes prey, the weight of my arms
contracting as the white down of her wings
change to feathers? As my instinct turns
relentless, she recoils like a
fired gun in the hand of a marksman;
as my courage emerges and my nest
grows hollow with every year, the twigs dropping underfoot,
her fertile soil, rich and
bewildered as a puzzle, is finding
its place in time. I watch her tumble
between bobbing toddlers. It’s then she
returns to kiss my nose and hook her arm through
the branch of what’s familiar.