No more than seven,
yet already philosophizing;
You’d be wise to watch her —
Daddy’s little girl!
And Daddy’s little prize loves to surprise —
wowing words right out his mouth
with the frank and fluent grace,
so potent in the younger years.
Thus unhindered by time or place,
one question dripped,
like milk from her tender lips,
landing soundly upon Daddy’s ear.
Disconcerted by its persistent echoing,
Daddy watched her prance and prod,
unable to break the deadlock in his mind.
And as he struggled for position,
I browsed in silence and smiled,
for I’d heard her table the issue,
then glimpsed the cavorting child
singing at full spin in the isle.
Hands wide open; hair at large,
she pranced around the utility store,
chirping the lingerie-born question:
“Why do girls need bras? … .”
Surely Daddy longed to pawn her off on Mommy;
but Mommy was locked in a distant room,
probably trying some on for size.
Daddy would have to deal.
As she whirled, I fell into wonder
drifting in slow motion to a sepia yonder,
where fabric cones filled Ma’s top drawer.
The items were no secret.
My job was hitching the metal hooks
into the eyelets of the conical shelf,
so Ma could elevate her friends.
And being eager to grow older,
I remember overthrowing time with craft,
and sneaking into Ma’s top drawer
to sling the contraption o’er my shoulder.
I didn’t have to contort.
First, I hooked it up,
then just slipped it up
and over my slender hips
like a stretchy wired dress.
But today’s little one
humbles both father and admirer
with her stunning line of questioning.
Maybe years later,
upon further investigation,
she’ll be the bra burning queen.
To hell with finding the right fabric and fit;
Flat, conical, rounded, or natural …
no harness will encumber her assets.
And freed from encapsulation,
the captain and crew sail onward,
laxly cupped in the hands of time.