On a Baby Niece

A poem inspired by a young niece.

Something about your eyes reminds me
Of dim candlelight that leaps in flecks
In the white silence of a church,
The sad quiet air that settles in the calm of twilit streets,
The kind hands of my grandmother withdrawn
In the recesses of her lap.

With every touch you glean consciousness
And whet your tender mind,
With every little curiosity
You grow unknowingly.
Something about your eyes
Brings to mind that waking state between
Language and cognition,
Where words hinge not on concepts
But flashes, images, colours and life
That is lived in the mind.

The shadows come out in bouquets now,
Monochrome memories in your crystal eyes,
Like wisps of a dream edging on the verge of reality,
Dark, unknown, patient, groping for existence
Like unborn children.

When you have grown,
And nor you, nor I would be
Able to turn the hands of time,
Something about your eyes
Would have lived in spite of you
Like a dream half-dreamt
That leaps and takes flight
From the boughs of your mind.

(Published in Dialogue: An Art and Culture Magazine, Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1, Jan 2014)

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