Baby

A foot pressing into my left eye socket wakes me. It is your foot, little girl. You are waking, too, stretching and yawning, smiling and babbling. The morning is cold and grey but your small body is full of warmth and joy.

I lift you out of bed and let you play on the floor. You stand for a moment, but your legs soon collapse beneath you, and you sink to your knees.

“Doooo,” you exclaim.

“Doooo,” I agree.

You bob up and down upon your knees and I congratulate you on your dancing. Your excitement causes you to fall backwards, and I reach out of bed and catch the back of your head in my palm.

You smile at me, then, little girl.

Little girl.

“Can you say ‘Daddy’?” I ask.

“Dooo,” you say.

“Daddy,” I say.

“Dooo,” you say.

I laugh, and you clap your hands, happy with your game.

I get out of bed and lift you up.

“Let’s find Mummy,” I say.

“Mum-me,” you say.

I laugh.

“I am not all you need, am I little girl?”

But you do not answer me. Your face is turned towards the door.

“I will always be here for you,” I whisper.

“Mum-me,” you demand.

I carry you to the kitchen where your mother is waiting.

Baby

Matthew Dalton

Joined June 2008

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