You have taken her further than Mom would,
now, her giggles are sneezes and tears.
I look up from my book and see you splash,
trying to scare the voracious horse fly
away from your little girl (and you.) You hold
her high, duck completely beneath the water,
come out and turn her like a piece of fine art,
one hundred and eighty degrees left, then right,
to make sure some damn fly isn’t feasting on her.

Now, in the shallows, you hold her
in your arms—she pushes you and you fall
so slowly, so surely, it as if you collapse
just for her, as she scrambles on top of you
to hug you.