Editing poetry: song for hidden motion

This is one of the first pieces I wrote about my little girl. I really liked the line ‘I have to check the photographs/for the colour of her eyes’, so I’m keeping it in.This piece has a happier tint to it for me now, as I’m closer to her than I have been since she was born.

In a city three days’ hard walking away,
baby is shuffling and straining
against the polished hardwood floors
quiet and focused like her father
with a pencil
and a smooth blank page beneath him.

she is propped up
on soft, near boneless arms
on the criss-crossed fibres of the wood
staring straight into the lens
my only line of sight.

she is beautiful as only a baby
as she hums in harmony with her mother,
I have to check the photographs
for the colour of her eyes,
they swallow the city
silver and sepia.

she is whisked through the streets,
in her palace of glass,
singing rainbows and nursery rhymes,
princesses and dragons
hearing her own story in
verse and meter,
with pictures by Dali and Peake.

she is leaving her mark
in cool zigzags around the city
in the dance of an eye,
the vestibulo-ocular reflex
(as my mother points out).
I will not see her
when she first crawls out
onto the slopes of the Rockies.

via Editing poetry: song for hidden motion.


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