A poem for daughters, for girls, written during a week when women have been on my mind.
Her godmother calls her a fairy. True, she is otherworldly,
Creative, playful, a glimpse of colour through the trees,
Cradling her water warbler in her hands,
skipping to the woods on the edge of the estate after school,
She can talk to the birds. They talk to her too.
But she is so much more than a fairy. Solid, strong, postured,
At home in her body, she inhabits every corner of it with ease,
It serves as a tool. She is not aware of its power,
or of what it will become through the gaze of others in time.
Her human form pulses with life; she is more than magic and lightness.
She dances around the fire, perfectly balanced on two strong feet.
She cuts a branch, dips it into the fire and holds it aloft,
Stares defiantly away from the camera,
Brandishing a wand with which to take on the adult world,
To announce she is here and she has a weapon,
Holding off adulthood as long as she can.
At night I gather her hair in my hands and inhale her earth and chocolate smell,
She is real, she is here with me; a more vital, vibrant echo of myself.
I am dusk.
She does not disappear with the dawn,
She belongs here in this world.