Smoke and Mirrors
A tiny hand reaches for a brand new
stripy tie; wipes the tears his mother
cries and with a smile, waves goodbye …
until lunchtime. The homeward path she
treads, the two will never tread again.
A way of life taken for granted – set
to change. Gone, the little child with its
amusing turn of phrase. A myriad of words,
ripe to be culturally tamed – whose eyes
will fade to grey from purest blue.
No more those cloistered halls of playroom
and nursery, where monsters don't exist,
except on Doctor Who, of course. Why?
"Monsters aren’t real.” Mummy says.
He’ll become hard-wired to the world
of dictionaries and two-times tables – he
who calculated everything in, ‘How long
till tea-time?’ ‘When will it be Christmas?’
Her expectations will seek new heights, higher
than a well-recited nursery rhyme; one day
to realise, nothing he ever achieves will bring
as much delight as when he said her name
that first time. Tomorrow, when she wakes
at four a.m., at odds with a double bed –
struggling with those demons in her head, these
will be new demons she’ll be fighting. For each
‘hello’, is a ‘goodbye’ waiting in the wings.
“Who says demons aren’t real?” Mummy says.