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,
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.
A young girl still but growing up fast,
kind and loving to the younger brother
and his frequent playmate,
though others would not treat
a younger sibling so
when four years separate.
The path of life she still has to tread
and what it will bring only she can decide,
but openness and diligence will serve her well
on her journey to remember who she really is.
(Excerpt from ‘The Niece’ in Family & More by Helena Harper,
Copyright © Helena Harper 2010, Pen Press)