Issue 12


Summer 2014

 

Child You Half Know


You see she has her older brother’s
smile, lifts her face to someone
she loves, there outside the frame.

They’ve told her to show
how she’s learning to write,
to hold up the pen she won’t use
to trace the short story
of her death, the long story
of her life on occasional tables
under the reverent evening lamps
with Oma and Pappi pictured left,
their skin irrecoverably creased
with loss even of who she once was.

You want to know more but
beg her to lower her eyes, please
not to hope or trust overmuch.

All night in the quiet box bed
you’re chasing a child you half know
to the far end of a pot-holed road.
But you can’t lay hold of the curls 
quirking down her shoulders.

Then morning sounds
and you’re mouthing her name.

______________________

Jenny Hockey