The Child’s Poem

Poetry, Uncategorized

No, don’t make it too long,

this poem for a child

and only touch on things

a child could hold in their hand

(a strand of rainbow wool)

or experience the fullness

(a cup of water, laughter that lasts

til the voice tears up and croaks ‘no more!)


But, take that wool in your own hand

– that thread that was the sky

and led the dancing cat

all the way home to her favourite chair.

Test it, now for suppleness and colour.

Fold it halfways and leave it there

let time pass over it

examine the fray of the ends

and the seam from yellow to green

that always has thrilled you.


Drink that cup of water

(hold it with two hands)

with care keep  it in your mouth

for just a second longer

thinking ‘this is what

I did as a child’, and this sweet water

is the draft of many rains.

If you are small enough by now

you can drop the glass

almost on purpose

and watch the shatter pattern

on the floor…


Finally you must laugh,

the poem must bring home

apple blushing laughter

tickle like a grass stem

and those peals must fall

genuine and true,

like waterfalls,

or broken glass

or rainbow all akimbo.


One thought on “The Child’s Poem

  1. Beautifully interwoven progression of images here – from the child’s hand, to an adult’s hand and then two adult hands holding the cup (of childhood? playfulness?) – and finally, like a child, let it all go ([perhaps destroy it?) and laugh… for an adult (well, me at least), easier said than done 🙂

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