Dressed in an egg-white vest
And a tiny pair of speckled leggings,
She was dressed as had become
Customary. Still sprawling, underdone.
The skylight seared, acid blue
With bloated balloons, no breeze;
So tired. Last night's support, so
Teary, bleary, blurry-eyed.
She resumed. Presumably
Displeased; we'd never know why.
I leant over, cracked, reached, grasped
Drew her to me, tried to soothe.
Through splintered lips and gravel
Throat but, holding her at arms
Reach, felt a new steel, which
Shook me, I paused, sat down.
Within the usual jelly,
Was a strength, new today, that
Told of future days biking,
And cheering from the touchline.
Of carrying on my shoulders,
Of running down too-steep hills,
With shouts of 'careful' ignored',
Of first days at school, of life.
I held her close, enveloped this
Burgeoning being, protected this
Brittle crysalis, cleansed by the clarity
Of what the years would say.