You laugh as the table is cleared away and
we sit talking with the others.
You laugh, a little at first as you set down your glass,
then your head back to great unselfconscious
laughter, mouth open, smiling, eyes closed,
and your head goes back again to laugh.
I see all at once you and
the little girl you were in yellow curls
the woman tonight with hair of fire
the lady you will become
long hair flowing gray and up in a loose bun.
All of you laugh together and it is like
the surf that pulses the shore across the balcony and
rolls into crashing white spray
and rises up in the clear night
and falls again as drops of rain
at the top of a tall mountain
and trickles back down to the forest
where a boy who already unknowingly loves you
stands at the edge of the laughter
and enters and climbs all the way to the man
tonight who measures his breath
on your fingers around his hand
that you squeeze gently as you talk
and keeps climbing into the old man who will stoop down
as you laugh in the room of a lived-in house
and kiss the back of your neck beneath the gray bun,
and has already loved you his whole life.
I don’t talk much during the dinner
but smile and nod and someone asks
if I am sleepy though I am not and
you say you have to get me home
and outside you say, What?
and you smile and pull my hand and say
Why are you looking at me like that?
and I can only think to say,
I love your laugh.