Alasdair – Naming You.
I waited for you,
Standing beside the worktop,
Watching you grow beneath our mother’s hands,
Squirming and kicking,
Insistant and fretful.
But you could not escape,
You were tied by a bond that,
Even now, you cannot break.
I would shiver with a loneliness I couldn’t name,
And longed to see you as more than a part,
More than a nameless dream.
the missing piece into my wooden jigsaw,
left out on the kitchen table.
and play forgetfully because
you will not fit.
but pretend the space is still empty;
I cannot dream you are here.
Name you Polly,
my name if I had only
Name you Hester –
a girl who does not like
damp rags across a steaming floor.
Name you Patrick,
cover your mouth,
stifled with mud pies.
Name you Matthew -
let me cry over you,
as, aged fifteen, you let the grass grow on you, a second skin.
Name you and smile,
for I cannot spell
you, and my thoughts as I stray
to my repeated – “a”.
I did not have the chance to worship you,
I cannot want the chance –
If it’s a boy, give it away.
I did not have the chance to take your hand,
and lead you through into the glaring white.
When will it be old enough to play with?
I did not have the chance to breathe
between your first smiles.
I did not have a chance to watch you smile,
as I concentrated on seeing you.
I did not give you away,
and I was too old to play with you,
and you got bored,
But now I can watch you,
breathing through your cold,
pushing reddened hands through too-long hair,
smelling of overdone deodorant.
Now I can watch you,
For, now, I can name you.