Stepdaughter

We joined lives in midstream

clinging to each other to stay afloat–

sometimes too tightly

at others far too loosely.

We pushed, swam, touched, hugged,

laughed, cried, and yelled...

all in an attempt to make our way

downstream…

and above water.

Suddenly,

you pulled away from me,

needing to swim to your long gone father.

I released you softly, easily,

yet unwillingly

with my heart in my throat,

and one eye on the turgid water…

just hoping

you’d stay afloat.