When I used to shake a branch
to douse your pram with blossom,
was it a kind of caim, a ring of blessedness
I tried to wrap you in? You chuckled
till your white curls shivered.
Or when I lifted you right up close
to the fragrant rose, was it
to inoculate against all that is
crass and coarse? You pulled
and crushed the petals, laughed.
Or when I’d find a feather for you
to play with, indulge a tickle, was it
just distraction, or a kind of spell,
a benevolence I tried to cast?
You loved its touch, its calming.
Perhaps those wordless tête-à-têtes, brief
as blossom on a path, before bruising,
they were my railings against ugliness,
lessons in how to side-step the dog-shit
of angry discourse, intemperate words.