Years Ago, in Morocco
~for my daughter
We’ll always have Casablanca I thought on the train from Marrakech
even as my girl became a pocket turned out—emptying
the trinkets from the bazaar, the snake charmer in the plaza,
with the couscous and zaalouk—her fever blazing.
So that we missed the Argan trees—the feast of goats
in their branches. The surprise of hoof and horn amongst leaves.
We’re tree climbers, my burning girl and me.
The desire to disappear up into apple or avocado —
to see distance, seek the danger of gravity and air.
How often I look for myself in my daughter—
tangle of hair and lit green eyes—
as she struggles to climb higher, the limbs thinning, beyond me.
Only the goat can clamber up into the thorny Argan,
its branches barely bending as a dozen goats perch in each tree.
When a daughter cleaves from her mother, the roots remain—
like the Argan roots sleeping deep beneath Moroccan heat.
I wait years in the tree’s minimal shade
for my daughter to shimmy back down.
Standing eye to eye, I wonder if I know her, this remarkable goat.
As if we had both burned in the flame of her fever
in that hotel bed we shared in Casablanca, to return
years later blooming anew like an orchard after fire.
Heidi Seaborn is Executive Editor of The Adroit Journal and winner of the 2022 The Missouri Review Jeffrey E. Smith Editors Prize in Poetry. She is the author of three award-winning books/chapbooks of poetry: An Insomniac’s Slumber Party with Marilyn Monroe, Give a Girl Chaos, and Bite Marks. Recent work in Blackbird, Brevity, Copper Nickel, diode, Financial Times of London, Penn Review, Pleiades, Poetry Northwest, Rattle, The Slowdown and elsewhere. Heidi holds an MFA from NYU. heidiseabornpoet.com