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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!


© Copyright David Selzer

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