In the yard, the sunlight streaming,
Megan’s digging in the dirt.
My daughter—fair and freckled—only three:
Now she looks—is Papa watching?
Does he know I’m being good?
I ache with love, blow kisses playfully.
She is blithely humming, wandering
Toward the borders of the lawn
Where lurks a poison oak, enticing, red.
It calls her name, this temptress:
See how shiny—pretty—bright?
Put down your spoon, and grasp my leaves instead!
How I hasten to her side, and
Cry, “Oh sweetie, let it go!”
Her fists behind her back, a stubborn chin--
“Papa, no,” she whispers, pouting
As I open up each hand:
Six crumpled leaves—and tender, blistered skin.
Though I bathe her hands with water,
Still the damage has been done;
Her toddler’s hands by toxins are defiled.
Oh, I wish she would have listened
To her papa’s warning words…
…Forgive me, Lord, forgive—I am my child.
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