Precious little angel sleep;
Rest while we're awake.
Close your big, dark eyes
As we talk in excited whispers.

I held you just after your birth;
You looked so peaceful in my arms.
There in your quiet infant rest
All snugly bundled up tight.

Staring down upon your gentle form,
I cradled you in these ancient arms
And looked into your sleeping face
Devoid of any care or concern.

Sleep, sweet child; sleep for now.
Your world will have to wait awhile
To bring to you sorrows and joys.
For now, my gentle child, sleep.

There will be time enough
For experiences happy and sad.
So sleep my darling child;
Enjoy your unfretted repose.

There will be time for worries soon enough.
Enjoy this peaceful bliss.
Soon enough you will awake
Never again will your life be so content.

Your mother and father smile
As I hold you close to me
While I recall another time and place,
I held your mother as I hold
you now.

What joys unimaginable;
What fears inexpressible.
All race within my head
While holding you, I recall the past.

Those same ambivalences
All return like thunder to me
With their loud echoes of another time
Present now in your sight and touch.

When doubts and hurts assail,
Remember this little child:
In fortune or in grief,
You are greatly loved and treasured.

Your mother now knows
How much I loved her
As she holds you closely to her breast.
It takes giving life to know what parents first felt.

And I, little one, am growing old.
I see your springtime
All colors of pale greens, pinks, and blues
While my world is ever amber.

Would that I could protect you
From all hurts and unhappiness.
But, I can't safeguard your life so new;
All that I can do is love you.

Happy birthday, Ayanna
As your world unfolds before you.
There is much for you to see and do.
But, for now, rest my precious child.


I say to you,

"Ayanna, you are my honey,
And I love you dearly."
Your smile and your eyes dance
As you parrot back, "Honee?"

Yes, Ayanna you are my honey.
What registers in your young brain?
Your Papa's old brain is filled with love
And tells you of all the joys you bring.

Life is complex and full of concerns.
At this point in my journey through life,
Life often produces pain and aching,
Mostly in my heart and soul.

However, Ayanna, you bring me a respite
From all my worries and woes.
I tell you, "You are my honey,"
And you giggle away my hurts.

I wonder whether when you get older,
Will you remember my love?
Is there already locked away in you heart
The knowledge that you are loved by me?

I wish that you would miss life's pain,
And that hurt would hurry away when you approach.
But alas, the world wounds even precious little ones
Like my lovely, little Ayanna--my honey.

I hope that time and circumstances permit me
To instill deep within your fragile heart and mind
Feelings of self-worth and true value
As a child and later as a woman.

I hope to be around to remind you always
When life's burdens get you down.
I want to hold you close and tight
As I remind you, "You are my honey."

But, if I am not there and you have to go on without me,
Reach back into your misty memories of Papa,
And recall again how much I truly loved you.
Ayanna, you will always be my honey.

Yes, Ayanna, "Honee."


Where has all the time gone?
It seems like but yesterday
When I'd cradle you to sleep
And fed you from little jars.

And now you are two.
Time has surely flown for my angel dear.
Soon, kindergarten will loom ahead,
And your rush through school begins.

Time slips slowly away for you
While time rushes fast for me.
You have so much time ahead of you
While my time is as limited as yours is vast.

We still have so much to do together.
Hundreds of flowers to checkout and pick,
Numerous bubbles to blow and set free,
And walks in the woods while giggling with me.

You bring to this proud Papa
So much sheer joy that can't be fathomed
Nor can the happiness be expressed
Even with tight hugs and cuddles.

Will I be there with you in years to come-
To see other days of accomplishment?
I can only hope and pray
That we journey long into the new millennium

And now you are two.
Papa is proud of you, little one.
Laugh and dance, smile and giggle
While I feel joy mixed with pain and longing.