A hub of concentration
in the hubbub of the fair,
my daughter coaxes a hoop
along a loop of wire.
This is a face I've seen
too often lately – austere,
set against the odds,
daring the world to thwart her.

I wish her an easier hoop
to dip in soapy water,
fill a bubble with her breath.
I want to laugh with her
when the bubble bursts,
knowing she can make another.

Stephen Payne

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