The eyes shine bright with sparkle and life…

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.

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)