For Evelyn, b.13.1.10


Born to good music by strong women,

Ella’s ‘isle of joy’, Nina’s ‘it’s a new dawn’ –

how you nestle in your parents’ untrammelled

love, how you suck with unrelenting hunger!


Born into a world of rubble, with children

buried alive, a world of chicanery

and hatreds – you have entered a difficult,

place, little Evie, somewhere remarkable,

full of tears and amazing kindnesses!


Born into a world of snow, a fox’s

nocturnal tracks in the white garden

of the tall, Victorian villa, a Blackcap

at the bird feeder, a Redwing sheltering

in the laurel and, away on the Downs,

boys and girls, freed from school, tobogganing

over the fossils and flints on the steep shore

of a Palaeolithic sea – how you squirm

with hunger, how you bask in so much love!


Three wishes then for you, little bird:

may you be lucky, may you be gracious,

may you always have someone to love!




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  1. #1 by Kevin Dyer - March 2nd, 2010 at 11:09

    Just gorgeous.
    Not very ‘critical’ that, is it?
    How about ‘transporting’ or ‘crammed with truth’? Yes, that’s right.
    Hard truths bristle through our world – but at moments – like the birth of a child – it’s still an amazing, incredible world to be in.

  2. #2 by David - March 2nd, 2010 at 12:21

    Thank you. ‘Gorgeous’ is fine! A much underused word – like ‘transporting’. And, yes, this is an extraordinary place.

  3. #3 by Julie Jones - March 4th, 2010 at 17:13

    I love this – such beautiful wishes for little Evie, and what we all wish for our children. I know I do for my two wonderful “babies” of 16 and 22!!

  4. #4 by Lesley Johnson - March 16th, 2010 at 14:30

    Like very much the way you have placed your wee gem in her correct period setting. Poem puts me in mind of Philip Larkin’s ‘May you be ordinary’, which is no bad thing. But rather than ‘Wishes’ I think I would have called it ‘Nestling’ (and then some years later written ‘Fledgling’ as a companion piece).

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