Mothering (Early) by Sapphire Allard (Lucent Dreaming Issue 11)

Due to limited control of our formatting on posts, the formatting of the following poem is incorrect.


In between piles of washing, phone calls not made, to do lists
never written, let alone achieved, only routine my 3am
monologue – paths not taken, career goals not reached stories
not written

There are moments like this:

my daughter, who only last month lay inside my womb, is
lying on my chest. Her own chest rises and falls so gently and

her breathing is the sweetest sound in the world. Her tiny ears
copies of my own, her dimples tiny versions of the man I love.


Reminder – you (still) exist, in moments, touches, memories,

friendships, phone calls, notes on your phone, failed
relationships, worn out cardigans, people you braved to make
eye contact with on the tube, half-written stories, dreams you
were woken up from by your daughter rustling for your
comfort, the egg she once was, the egg you once were, the
first message you sent to her dad and the first time you kissed
him in Dalston junction tube station, the time your dad
demanded to get off a plane to tell your mum he loved her and
the first time he slept with someone else, an essay you wrote
in your second year of university which had a last sentence
you were so satisfied with you read it over and over.

(was it something to do with stories and passing them down?)


When it is three and four and five am and my patience is a
tightly woven ball of yarn in my chest, unravelling

I remember I am also my mother rocking and

my daughter being rocked and also

my grandchild feeling it all.

I take a breath, caress my daughter’s milky cheek in the dark
once more.


When she is older you will tell your daughter – happiness does
not have to be feared nor chased,

you don’t have to be extraordinary to be loved, and

you owe me nothing.


     and it is not that 'everything else stops mattering' 

because they do – dishes must be washed, stories deserve to be
written – but I wonder if there is anything that could give such
a clear outline to a moment as this sensation. if anything else
could allow me to glimpse future and past in such quick
succession that I almost cannot bear to truly feel it.

Is there anything else more needed, more divine right now,

than these two arms wrapped around my body, this tiny warm
hand flat against my chest.

As if, even in her sleep my daughter is

reminding me of my own heart and its beating.

Sapphire Allard lives in sunny Eastbourne with her cat, partner and nine-month-old daughter. She considers herself a fiction writer but has taken to writing poetry since becoming a mum, and needing to fit words into her phone notes in any rare, spare moment! She has recently completed a Ph.D. from the University of Kent.
@sapphire_allard | @sapphirerosewriter

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