Monday, May 30, 2011


on this clear autumn morning, walking,
and talking to my daughter, I said
look! there are rosellas in the trees
high up there, can you see?

she, her warm eyes crinkling at the corners, shook her head gently
sighed with old-woman patience, and said,
no, Mum
they're parrots, not rosellas. don't you know?

no, I did not,
I said, and searched her face for signs
of the half-amused, half-contemptuous exasperation
that time seems to gift to all daughters
talking to their mothers.
that surety that one has depths
beyond the mother's understanding; that one is more able, in essential ways
less contigent
less constrained
destined for better things.

but in my daughter's open face I saw none of it
not yet.
she, still so much a child in essence
not old enough yet
to think her mother foolish
to love, but to pull restlessly against love
to be embarassed.

and as I kissed her goodbye
her face lifted towards mine for the caress
I felt my heart turn over, in anticipation
of the day
when she will turn away.

- Kathy, 30/5/11

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