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With A Scamper of Knitted Legs

With a scamper of knitted legs
She heads for sanctuary,
Pretends to be busy, refuses first-rate,
Grows wanton, despairing,
Shakes me off in heat,
Shouts and cries, creates a splendour
(So that everybody looks),
Flings fists and feet, bursts into tears inconsolable
As I lift in my gentle arms her forced weight,
And thumps her head into my neck crook
With a tight-wrenched arm that buries her face
All flooded and sheened, snot-nose wiped clean
In my hair, there to console her imagined dreams
In the smell of man
Who comforts as best I can
Sobbing sorrow all staggered in grief,
A heart-burst exclamation of wild-eyed childhood,
Abandoned, lost,
Deep hurt, deep sleep, release –

She tires in an instant,
Peace,
Before a half-chattered sigh escapes her lips,
Snug warmth-breath curses a kiss
On my cheeks……………

What bliss is this
That she remains so calm ? –
Her storm is done for the moment
As I look on in disbelief.

June 1999

The hurt of our adopted daughter as a toddler, running away and then bursting into tears, throwing a tantrum and eventually allowing herself to be comforted. She had lovely little knitted leggings on … little sweetheart ….

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