For Ashlee — 22.08.1991-12.09.2013
Twelve inch thongs on three inch feet
left on right right on left
four small toes fitting neatly
in the space of one adult big toe…
you strut about the house
chin held high
golden curls flowing to your waist.
You snatch your brother's toy
while Mum's back is turned
smile in glee as you watch him punished
for trying to get it back.
'Mine!' you screech
when your empty cup is removed from the table
or if someone should hold an item you want.
'No, not! Tell my Daddy, you!' you pout
when unable to have your way.
You insist on calling David 'Dave'
announce 'Dave, you're Grandmum, right?'
and 'Grandmum, you're Dave'
then proceed to address us
by each other's name
for as long as it suits you.
Contrary to the core
a storehouse of limitless energy
you fill the room with your presence...
as you do when you sit
on your mother's lap
look intently into her eyes
walk hand in hand with big brother
exploring flowers and butterflies
and when you
lie quietly with baby tenderly stroking
his tiny limbs
when you sing to Dolly
as you tuck her into bed
and most treasured of all
when you bounce into my room
angelic face framed by silken hair
eyes sparkling beneath long lashes
excited smile exuding from young lips
softness softness everywhere…
c. Kathryn Coughran