First I brought you petals from collapsed roses
And you would hold them wet and full of dew
And marvel with me the drops reflecting
Shifting clouds across a happy sky.
You would colour shells, throw and catch,
Dry-run obstacle courses, play chase
On hazy, butterfly-full, yawning days.
I’d hand you pictures painted
Pots I’d fashioned, wild stories dreamt up
Stones gathered, cards and artless stuff.
And I would scan your face and wait
To see the glow of mother, smiling down at me.
The thrill of walking with you in the snow
Coats and hats and scarves so tightly curled
Arm up to reach your hand in mittened glove.
Never let go never let go never let go.
The smell of mother, glam before you left
For a night out with Dad, hung in the air.
Pinned under crisp white sheets, waiting
For the kiss that sealed the energetic day.
And much later, when we’d grown,
Friday phone calls from dark and echoing uni halls.
Saying nothing, listening for moments
Waiting to hear your voice. Home.
We flew and grew and you would write,
Every week, letters held and cherished.
We sent you news, brought you babies,
Which you would hold, like petals.