Before your daughter gets to the stage,
where she is the nothing between egg and bird,
take her to the edge of the mountain
light a fire, daub her skin with charcoal,
feed her bitter berries, the milk of dandelion.
Teach her the lore of the fox,
the wisdom of weather. Wish for her:
a spare button for her jacket,
loose change in her purse,
the taste of moon on her tongue,
a lake to mirror her eyes,
St Jude when things seem hopeless,
St Anthony when she is lost,
St Cecilia when she needs to sing,
to keep from missing
the sure heart rhythm of the womb.