Two poems.

It is always hazardous in moments of great celebration or sorrow to look to what one has written in the past, but both of these poems were written with this moment in mind though at the time I wrote them only for myself. While my knitterly obligations lie ravelled and unmet, I have at least words. These ones are for my sister, and for her daughter, Amelia Beth, who is at the time of this writing some hours shy of five days old. May her life roll out before her like a red carpet.

For my sister – the date on this poem is 11-9-1998

When Sarah cuts short her hair

and joins the mothers

she will be welcomed

and a long brown braid will curl

in a drawer.

We combed out her hair at five

and she wore it in two plaits.

And at 13 Sarah combed out her hair

And it was long, and brown

And she wore it many ways

for she was a woman.

And soon her hair will be combed out

and she shall wear it in one plait

to sweat and groan

And Sarah shall join the mothers

and cut short her hair.

For our daughters – this poem is undated – I recall writing it shortly after the birth of my daughter

baby sweet heart

be for me not sugar

syruped boiled shaped confection


be for me

incomparable sweetness

of a fig



flavour savoury crisplively sweet



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