By Rachel Ulrey

Lil crinkle pop
Super apple pickle
Countless nicknames I cannot recall nor write
Because no matter what nickname
You will always be my

Smiling as we brave silverstand’s waves in our dingy intertubes
Smiling as we hide, giggling under layers of blankets
Smiling as we eat pancakes every Saturday morning
Smiling as we welcome you home after your first stay at the hospital

Your bravery mimics the courage of a young pigeon leaving its nest fir the first time
Your compassion mimics the selflessness of a mother seagull giving all her food to her babies
Your creativity mimics the imaginative mind of a junco crafting nest from unconventional materials
You optimism mimics the waen glow of the sun, guiding cranes southward
You literacy mimics the intelligent, varied chirps of a chickadee

I should be the one comforting you
Yet despite my tears, your reassurance endures
Vibrant, your grin makes the corners of my mouth turn up too
A small, sad smile on my face inspired by yours

I’ll forever sit with you
A birdy, sky-blue