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My daughter sits beside me as I write

in my journal. She has just gotten up,

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dressed, and brushed her teeth. She wants

to play a game, she says, because

she is bored. But she knows I am writing

and so adds, "after you do that."

She stretches out on the sofa, watching me,

her foot jamming into my thigh.

Her toenails are sharp and need cutting,

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but if I ask her she will say "no."

I ask her anyway. She grimaces,

shakes her head and says:

"Do you know you have

the darkest skin in the family?"

and she grins as if to say

that we both know it is she

who will determine

how we'll spend this day.