Inspired by the images by Jane Cornwell and John Law
This small, soft hand, bath-cleaned
of sticky treats and all the business of a summer day–
mud-castle building, caterpillar catching, and treasure digging.
Like Daddy, as his pretend pick strikes the dirt.
And her heart lurched,
fluttered a canary-winged warning.
Not my son,
his cheeks sun-glowed, his nose freckled,
his deposition sunny,
not life-etched grey with
coal-tattooed lungs that rattled–
the darkness, dirt, and danger,
not for my son, the estranging underground life.
He will hear the blackbird sing,
and in the dappled light, he’ll dream.
A poem for Day 21 of Paul Brookes’ Ekphrastic Challenge. Today Paul is dedicating the challenge to the memory of poet Dai Fry. You can see all of the art and read the poems here.