though you cannot yet read,
for every moment I have been rough with you.
Seventeen years your senior,
I know too well the moments that
life will be rough with you. Without apology.
Child, I am writing to apologize,
though you may never remember,
for every time I have been impatient with you.
For the preschool rush, the hastiness
on with the shoes and out the door
for snatching you up and snapping you
into your booster seat, your little feet
swung from their spot before you could
examine the cicada in the driveway that scared you.
No doubt the largest insect you had ever seen,
it glistened holographic on the asphalt in the near-noon sun.
When I hurried you into the car and drove away,
dismissing your curiosity with a sharp lie:
"its just a big bug"
I failed to explain that fantastic root dweller
who emerges only once every seventeen years
to molt its skin and begin its adult life.
May you always have time and forgiveness.
May you be surrounded by people more willing
and worthy than me, to explain the trivial and fantastic-
ready to revel with you in the smallest wonders.
May you blossom, emerging from this home
brilliant and beautiful to rise high above this asphalt,
and may you not wait 17 years to see another cicada.