‘Mother and Child’ by Anne Whitehouse The Society April 13, 2016 Beauty, Poetry 2 Comments A gray mid-March day: the bare branches lean across the blank sky. All colors moved indoors where my daughter and I play with her toys laid out on the rug: rattles, dolls, and trucks, nesting plastic bowls, a flock of yellow ducks. Shakily she stands, her tongue darting like a snake’s between her pink gums, she smiles, claps her hands, and bangs the shell table made by Great-grandpa of rare wormy chestnut. Its submarine treasures are sealed under glass. Her palms leave sticky smears. She reaches for my face, her hands stroke my ears and clasp round my neck, her cheek against my skin. I breathe her mild scent, I take it all in. My baby pulls me hard, she is so insistent. She turns to press her forehead against mine, and the world seems to shrink as if it held just us, a game that lovers play. Did babies play it first? Now in my arms she lies, her mouth at my breast, a soft, avid pump. She clutches me, and then relaxes into sleep. Night falls. The minutes spin away in the dark. Now I’m forgetting this; I must have dozed off, too. She sucks in dreamy bliss, as her sweat gilds my arm: matted hair, cradled head. Love flows in me like a river in a muddy bed that roars around stones shedding mist and spray, and swells to meet the sea, forever carried away. Ephemeral baby whose growth will replace you, shadow and memory till time will erase you, To show you as you were, my quicksilver daughter, I fix you on this page: Claire, eight months of age. www.annewhitehouse.com Painting by Mitra Shadfar Related Post ‘Napoleon in New Orleans’ and Other Poetry by Ro... Napoleon in New Orleans So the sun of Austerlitz has set. I had many triumphs, but it’s the few defeats – Leipzig, Waterloo especially – I... Tell the world:FacebookTwitterTumblrPinterestRedditLinkedInEmail 2 Responses Pamela April 23, 2016 This is beautiful, it is so inspiring. It reminds me when my daughter was young. Reply S. O'Shea April 25, 2016 So perfectly suspended in time; the intangible sweetness of a baby made incarnate in words. Reply Leave a Reply Cancel Reply Your email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email.