Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Niece To Cherish And Amaze

This September my niece started sixth form - unbelievable! I still remember when she was just a baby (see above) and now she's studying for her A levels. How time flies.

To mark the occasion, I thought I would post an extract from my poem 'The Niece' in my book Family & More - Enemies or Friends? Enjoy!

Such a small,
fragile-looking being,
this newborn babe,
crumpled face
and delicate limbs
fascinating all who look
with their phenomenal
miracle of creation,
eating and sleeping
her only desire
in this foreign world
of noise and people.
The eyes shine bright
with sparkle and life
and hands lift and agitate
when the new and wondrous
suddenly appear
in this amazing world
of her imagination.

Inquiring into everything
with mouth and tongue
and later with stumbling feet,
curiously watching
bumble-bees hover
and snails slither,
joyously creating
game after game
with books and toys,
packets and tins,
twigs and leaves
and anything else
you'd care to name.

Playing she loves,
other babies, too,
and a playmate at home
is what she'd like,
a baby girl or boy, if you please.
Her wish suddenly granted
she can't wait to see
the baby brother
waiting for her in hospital
at the appointed time of three.

She looks at the child
with fascinated eyes,
at last a baby of her own,
reminding the aunt of
that picture of the mother,
who as a toddler
had looked in just that way
at the baby sister
who had arrived
after the long, painful
labour of a day.

To school she goes,
only just four,
yet others are five already
or a bit more.
Keen to please
but shy with new children,
learning strange things
called numbers and letters,
tiring stuff for one so young,
but determined she is
and give up she won't
no matter how hard it all is...
She'll try and try until she bursts!
The effort pays off
and great strides she makes,
reaching the top group in English
when secondary school starts.
Who would have thought it
all those years before,
when reading was an uphill struggle
and all those words just one big muddle?
But anything can be achieved
with strong focus and desire,
all that's needed is motivation
and a heart truly on fire.

Copyright © Helena Harper 2010

What do you remember about a son/daughter/niece/nephew or any other person you know when they were young?