In the morning, we walk towards the Village.
She stares at birds swooping
to the foot of a tree and chases them.
The rude creatures shirk her friendly cries,
“Bird! Bird!” Despair rolls her voice thin.
“Bird,” I say and point to the sky –
is there a salve for illogical disappointment?
She collects rocks from landscaped lawns
and arranges them on the wet grass,
picks up a twig and attempts to wield
it as a piece of chalk against the sidewalk –
the dormancy of this wood chip puzzles her.
As the day retreats, she runs on cobbled streets,
her giggles make passersby pause their conversations
to accommodate hearty laughter, or at least a smile.
We are surrounded by jagged peaks, the sloping
summits close, but not overbearing.
“Mountains,” I say with all the relevant emphases,
but she deliberates and watches them with her father’s eyes.
I am suddenly overcome by a moment of silent prayer –
let her have words, enough words to tell me –
if she is simply resting her distant gaze,
or does she, too, stand in awe of this day,
that sky, those mountains?
Noorulain Noor is a member of the Community of Writers at Squaw Valley and a two time Pushcart Prize nominee. Her poetry has appeared in Spillway, Sugar Mule, Santa Clara Review, and other journals. Raised in Lahore, Pakistan, Noorulain now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her poetry explores the broad themes of identity, multiculturalism, and the immigrant experience.