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For my daughter, on what would have been her tenth birthday. We love you. We miss you. Even in the pandemic we do not forget you. x



My darling, this year we must

commune at a distance.


I can’t go to your grave

and fetch you back to me

with ritual and gifts;


can’t carry you home

in a sling of blue sky

and cherry blossoms.


You remain resolutely

earth bound, despite

my incantations.


In the early hours

I pace the house bare foot,

looking for a sign from you


but find only the penny whistle

of a blackbird,

the gentleness of pigeons on the sill.


Where is the ten year old

you would have been?


For a moment I feel you

beside me at the window.

My skin goose-bumps


against your red hair.

We stand stock still

to watch a Sparrow hawk


kill a jackdaw in the garden.

Then you are gone. Slipping

further away than ever


folding the earth beneath your feet;

away across the heath, the heather.




2 thoughts on “Ten

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