Once upon a time (actually, ten years ago today) I screamed and swore my way through 24 hours of excruciating labour before a disturbingly cheerful surgeon sliced open my stomach at 3am and pulled out a tiny wailing creature who would prevent me from sleeping/weeing on my own/having any peace/existing as an autonomous adult for the next few months/years, and who would alter the course of my life forever.

It sounds like the start of a horror story. It is, in fact, the start of the most wonderful love story ever written.

Miss Ten, you are everything. I wrote a poem for you. Happy, happy birthday.


Before You

What did I do

Before you?

What did my arms do before they held you

My mouth before it kissed you

My eyes before they saw you

My heart before rejoicing your voice

With every beat?


My precious daughter, as surely as your face is my haven

One day I will leave

Before you

But you will remain

To rejoice in your own child’s grace


Turning your face to the light always


Know that wherever you go

When your fierce soul-beauty is the key that opens doors to joy

When those doors close and you must forge another path

(do not follow; forge)

When that path is cruel and broken and you are heartsick

When you cry out for me in the deep dark

I will go

I have always gone

I will always go

Before you