Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Madison's poem - If I should have a daughter

If I should have a daughter,
I would swaddle her in this world.
I'd have chamomile in her bottle,
violets nesting upon her forearms. She will dance
before she crawls, and I will teach her to walk
under the sunlight, so she knows that sometimes
great things fall to the ground.

If I should have a daughter,
I’d name her Calliope for she was a muse
before we knew of her in this world.
I would ripen a compassion in her pupils like
two black plumbs above the mire. I would teach her
how to strike a match and light a candle in the dark,
so she knows that there is always light at her fingertips.
If I should have a daughter, I’d have her never
to give herself away but always to find herself
in giving.

If I should have a daughter,
I’d teach her to date only writers so she'd always
be read to sleep, I’d tell her that mirth is a stone
in almost every stomach, I’d cover her walls
in gossamer webs that she might learn to make friends
with the things that scare her. I’d tell her
that all of the fires in this world are drawn
within us, that we might learn the art
of enlightenment

If I should have a daughter, I’d be the one
dandling my newborn beneath cloudburst,
and her first breath would be of tempest air
that she might be born of a beginning
where I was born at an end.

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