Freeing her tiny fingers with amazing deftness,
she scampers forward in all her swiftness.
Sparse vehicular traffic, level road
and cool dusk but stress escalates.
We struggle to catch up with her.
She slows down, turns full circle
studies a passerby, an oncoming bike.
Danger is unknown to her.
We pick her up by turns.
Restless and fluttering, she works
relentlessly at all grips and clasps,
wriggles her way down and dashes.
Mounted up on my hip,
she puts a hand round my neck
and nestles close, her free hand still busy
working at mine, first the soft soothing style,
then the harsh, insisting mode;
silent demand for liberation.
Aching arms succumb to pressure and temptation.
On her feet, she prances forward gleefully
to a bunch of blossoms on the grassy side walk.
Outstretched hands closing down on the slender stems,
she stops and gives me the glance of mischief.
I crouch beside her and point at the fluttering wings
among the flowers, not daring to hope much.
Amazing she stops short, glances at the dull grey
spotted wings held close, intent relishing of nectar.
The patient steady stare yields her the prized reward;
the wings open to a marvellous orange hue.
The wordless sounds of unspeakable surprise,
the claps of toddler joy, the bubbling laughter
She too could be stilled and stirred.