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
of a fig
flavour savoury crisplively sweet