За Лидия/For Lydia
I don’t remember singing lullabies,
though perhaps I did those first few months.
You slept between us, arms spread,
and fingers doing their best to clutch
at her straw hair and curling in on themselves.
Only half-awake then, perhaps, we murmured
words and rhymes that comforted.
We were reassuring ourselves
as much as inventing how we’d cope
with you, this new responsibility –
someone we couldn’t help but love
even then, in our most helpless moments.
Light flecks through curtains
and your first stretch
would have us wide awake again
and adjusting to those very early days.
You weren’t so easily appeased –
your snotty complaint a reminder
that we’re happiest when we dreamand at our loneliest too.
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips