Childhood, family, love, memory

To be three

They say you don’t remember
Anything before the age of four.
Don’t remember that thumb
jammed in the door,
Don’t remember that tooth
Chipped on the floor,
Don’t remember tantrums
In the toy store,

Don’t remember your mom’s
Sleepless nights,
Don’t remember your dad’s
Tired sighs,
Don’t remember your brother’s
Protective lies.

You won’t remember the castles
Built of pillows for stone,
The snowmen made of clothes
Carelessly thrown,
You won’t remember being tucked up
Late at night,
You won’t remember the first time
You said goodnight.

But we do.

With love, your family.
Happy Birthday, dear Sophie.

Childhood, family, memory

Tracing an outline

It collects in pockets,
on the edge of photo frames,
the sediment of sentimentality.

It gathers in the stillness of breath
waiting for your finger,
to trace an outline.

Cleaning is an exercise in utility,
every obliteration a momentary rejuvenation
time-travelling back to before we were old,
to before there was just

dust.

 

Background:

My two-year-old daughter was taking a nap at my parents’ place, and as I watched her blissfully sleeping, I noticed a dusty table that had been there forever.

My parents’ place is a reservoir of memories. Going home is always comfortable, but at the same time tinged with a sense of things slowly slipping away, even as they remain solid, permanent in your hand.

Childhood, family, love, Poetry

In descending order

A telomere

Life

is a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences

is a repetitive sequence

at each end of a chromosome,

at each end,

which protects the end of the chromosome

which protects some

from deterioration or from fusion

from deterioration

with neighbouring chromosomes.

when it’s time to go,

“I before you, except after she.”

I’ll miss you.

 

Background:

Having a child is one of the greatest gifts a person could ever receive. It is a profound and amazing way of experiencing love, trust and sleep deprivation.

I wrote this poem thinking of the two little monsters at home; and how weak, fallible and mortal they make me feel.

Sophie and Kiefer hug.jpg