By Holly Radestock, Polyphony Volume 5 Issue 1. First published on 7th of March 2023.
“The Cradle” – Berthe Morisot, 1872
You are the shape I made you: love teaches love;
a fragile mirror’s reflection of all I am and could have been.
I am writing to you from a body that used to be yours,
protection against the tempests outside of this home.
Brought into being through a pomegranate ripped open,
I cannot turn water into wine but
you can mar supple flesh with bite marks, suckle my sweet milk.
All of me is all for you, will what I have to give be enough?
I pledge to guide you through warring winds;
to be the dawn on your worst nights,
soothe your pain, soak up salt-water stains from your cheeks.
My love for you is a compass.
I am not a praying woman. My knees do not bend
at the foot of any cross. But by God’s grace I have found myself
desperately murmuring pleas to keep you safe from harm.
I wake with my hands clasped.