My girl always checks
for tear-stained flecks
on my middle-aged cheeks.
They don’t play hide and seek,
because those tears that fall
don’t make me feel small.
They’re not drops of doom
on a melancholy costume.
There are two types of tears:
one regrets time; one gains years.
The first cries for loss of self,
the second cheers for spiritual wealth.
So when I see my little girl swim,
my happy tears fill to the brim,
because she’s doing what she came here to do.
So I leave bitter tears for others to rue.