Poem for my daughter on what would have been her thirteenth birthday

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This year you come to me in the rain,
your name a sudden shock
on the lips of a passing woman

to her daughter, out walking in the lane. 
The two recede. Her daughter’s back 
Is sullen under black layers.

The passing cloud
of your impermanence drifts through
and for a second I am in the dark 

lush of your watery air. For a second
I think I feel you there, your shadow
bridging the gap between us, 

petrichor of your shampoo, slight 
weight of your body next to mine,
columns of you drifting across

the distant valley of me.

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