Dear childhood self

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sweet little start of me
through ancient mist I see you
aping our mother’s daily routine
washing yesterday’s dollies dresses
while she scrubs the sheets
concentration creasing your cute face
as you rinse and squeeze the tiny pieces
your fingers bleached and shrivelled by the task

and later
you mix a cake
grinning in vanilla-kissed contentment
while she cooks dinner
for your father, your brothers and your sister

a ginger cat curls round young calves
his tail tickling your giggly knees
his unpredictability tripping your feet

I see you
distant as as the stony stream
flowing around the stones
in the crook of our childhood valley
silent as a graveyard angel
frozen in the photographs of my imagination

I tried to keep you near
but you sank away
clinging to what you thought you could keep forever
instead of growing with me

I miss you
and what I expected to be

©Jane Paterson Basil

22 thoughts on “Dear childhood self

    1. The truth is that what I expected was to stay little, with my mother by my side, forever. I grew up, and left the four year old behind. She’s still there, with her perfect life, and I can’t reach her. Isn’t it that way for all of us?

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    1. Thank you Raili.
      Words are magical – my heart soars when I find the right ones – it’s like watching the sun rise on a spring morning, and real though the emotions behind this poem are, the feel of the words fitting together made me thankful. It’s a spiritual thing.

      Liked by 1 person

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