Your Daughter

For S.

You tell me that she was a breech-birth. I’d
always thought that was worse
        but
            you say
it was easier that way;
didn’t hurt
as much as the first time,
            when your Son was born.

She is two & a half years old.

She’s the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen,
& I used to fucking detest
        the word “adorable”,
            especially
                if it was ever used
to describe me.

When I tell you this, it makes you laugh:

“You’re not adorable!
Sweet,
        maybe,
but only sometimes, & sweet like
liquorice: a weird,
        acquired taste”.

We’ve stayed awake far too late tonight,
drinking red wine
        & talking
            about our lives.

I once believed we were defined entirely by
the roles we play in a stupid fucking game,
        & that neither the rules
            nor the roles could
ever change but

when you leave me,
        briefly,
to check on the children,
            I realise
that I was wrong:

You’ve changed me completely:
        
I don’t believe
that this is a game any more;
        now,
            I see it as a dream
                waiting

to be realised.

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