For Vija

Soft child

rubbing on my cheek

bed child

comforting my sleep

with curling toe

across my chest.


Wild child

growing to confusion

reaching out for hands

that turn the corner

where the swallows  play,

open mouths for feeding

two short months for breeding

long inaugural flight

a sunlit winter

the same family returning

to my enquiring eyes.


The pattern is so simple

yet I crack my head on concrete

rack the leaves left after tea

try to find the words to find you

in this play I haven’t written,

for the soft child


captured in my heartstrings

how we used to be

as close as swallows

& as sunlit as the sea.


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