My Child

For nine months only, you were my child.
You slept and woke within me as I slept and woke
Within the womb of the world that enfolded me.
A part of me in every sense –
You were me and I was you.
But in one raw and bloody moment,
In agony, our oneness was torn open,
As the light received you once more,
You broke through
And were born.
My earthly senses beheld you as my spirit welcomed you back,
And the physical cord that joined us was severed forever.
You ceased to be mine
If you ever were…

Now I look for my child
And she is here
In these garments;
So tiny, yet they clothed you once…
And if I hold them to my face I can smell you,
The warm, sweet scent of your being,
So evocative, haunting me,
Like the feel of the soft rugs that once wrapped you
Now enclosing my empty fingers.

And my child is here…
In the waxy masterpieces that colour my walls,
The fingerprints and crayon fantasies that choreographed your childhood,
The scribbled books and colouring ins,
The remnants of your classroom and your budding,
Blossoming quest, for meaning;
I can still see, the busy importance of small hands and intent lips.

And my child is here…
In the scatter of well-loved friends,
The broken, the wounded, the one-eyed,
The unconditional, unjudged friends,
Gazing up from the bed and the toybox,
So powerful in the love they shared;
Memories, like toys abandoned,
Found later to be loved again,
So real, yet so elusive.

And my child is here…
In these photographs,
These curling, colour paper memories…
Smiling at birthday candles,
Laughing at your own first steps.
The bubble-blowing, sticky-faced images
Of baby turned to child,
And the tentative reaching into womanhood,
The creative explorations into my clothing and lipstick,
Little feet in big girl shoes…
That walk!
All these glorious, expanding moments captured
Forever on the film of my mind…
Stored in the photo album of the soul.

And now you stand before me,
You, who I call daughter…
A product of so many lifetimes,
Yet with eternity as your future.
You who are so dear and so familiar
Yet a stranger still.

You are not my child.
You are the child of your own destiny…
And my role, so small in your grand scheme
Is an honour observed only by my proud eyes.
My child is here in this paper, this cloth, this memory.
My child is just a creation of my consciousness,
My desire personified…
And you are your own.
Just as I nurtured my child for nine months
With all of the love and hope I hold,
May you nurture your child with all that the universe holds.
I no longer hold you in my womb or my arms
But I hold you in my heart
Where love is the only cord that joins.
For the short time I carried you, we walked the same path
Now I go on, and you make your own footprints.
On the day of your birth, I stepped back from your path
As your soul broke free and your walk began.
You alone are your child,
Just as I am mine.
I love you.

My Child

Wendy  Slee

Yoongarillup, Australia

  • Artist
  • Artwork Comments 79

Artist's Description

Sharon Hammond inspired me to rethink this piece of writing created years ago for my daughter…….where I pondered on what was “mine” and what still is…….(and what never was….)
Thank you Sharon…hope you and your daughter share an amazing time together on the occasion of her wedding……
and beyond.

Artwork Comments

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