Outside Starbucks

Outside Starbucks
a young woman with substance
and dirty blond hair
holds
in tenderness worn supple by
thousands of hours
her child.

This child is of two races.
The third way
from two distinct paths.
She wears pink corduroy overalls
and an orange scrunchy
that holds a heartbreaking little ponytail.

There is fatigue and love and containment
in the mother’s lap. Her body,
to some, just a seated female,
forms a cup of living watchfulness,
fortified gentleness, creative instruction — 
and the vibrant baby girl is safe there.
Quiet.

She plays with a little key
(invisible and potent)
opening her mother’s belly, peering in,
weaving her spirit in and through it
and out again.

Outside Starbucks
the mother sets the child carefully on her feet. 
Cleans the table,
brushes off the crumbs from her own
and her daughter’s little jacket.
They go to the garbage can and each throws
her own cup away.

Then, the million-year-old hoist onto hip
and a smile for the road.

And for me, too, now.

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