NaPoWriMo Day four: A poem for my daughter

Ahhh children. The biggest heart-breakers of them all.

No fear is greater, no love is deeper, than that of a parent.

This poem is about my amazing, difficult, beautiful, funny, complex daughter, Hannah. 16 going on 38 going on 5.


She flits in and out of my life like a restless lover

Sweeps through the house with her impossible humour

and unfathomable beauty.

Eats my food.

Sucks up my bandwidth.

And consumes my heart.

I want to catch her in a butterfly net

Or a steel trap of parental self-righteousness

But the act of containment changes that which is being contained.


She curls up at the end of my bed,

and speaks of diverse subjects.

Like a reverse Sheherazade, I cling to her every story,

 each one keeping her alive to me.

I listen to her take on the world, and wonder: Have I taught her well?


She sits cooly, laptop aglow

Spreading her love around Instagram, and Facebook.

Perhaps I should send her a friend request?

Sometimes I throw caution to the winds and leap on her,

squeezing her so hard she bleats a muffled “Get off me!”


Like a jilted mistress, I obey, and crawl back to my yearning darkness.

So I revert to admiring her from afar,

letting out the bitter sigh of the unrequited paramour,

and get on with the dishes.


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