In her pink bicycle helmet
she is eye to eye with the swan,
and in thrall to a potent mix of excitement and fear
drops a dime at its feet.
I make a grab for it,
also noticing both excitement and fear,
and tell her, "not food. it's not good for the swan."
She is nonplussed.
"Bird," she says.
"Yes, a bird, a kind of bird called a swan, and it can't eat money."
She is unconvinced,
but we continue talking and looking at birds --
ducks, pigeons, ibexes, seagulls.
She sees birds, and I probably have more words than I need.
Later she holds tight to the bowl,
and doesn't want to give it up for her mom to put safely away.
I love her independent, feisty spirit
totally engaged with whatever is happening around her.
As I say goodbye, she's become a blur of pink,
pink shirt, pink helmet, pink bike,
circling the swan, very much in command,
and thoroughly enjoying the ride.