I wrote this poem on the morning of my daughter’s 21st birthday. The words came to me in a moment of emotion, as the house lay still and quiet before everybody else woke up. It was my way of expressing my joy and love for her and for the precious memories of the years shared and the memories of her as a little girl.
Yet, this joy is tinged with the pain I carry within at the burden she carries daily as she struggles with living with Asperger’s Syndrome.
Simply put, as her mum, I want only to carry these burdens for her.
This then, is my poem for my daughter.
Girl with the Summertime Smile
You came to me, wrapped up in love, on a too-hot summer’s day
As you took in every life-drop falling from the sky,
Then seeking quiet refuge in the still of your shut-tight eyes.
Oh Summer girl of mine, with your sunflower-smile
and your cotton-dress skip;
Making beds for caterpillars and tiny pools for frogs,
Singing to the moon on a twinkle-star night,
Legs dangling from your swing as we laughed and held on tight!
Oh did that light from heaven get lost in the dark heart?
A memory of a safe, strong day
Brings a strong-comfort hope, not just for then but now.
Fight I will, this will not, ever, tear us apart.
Sweet woman-girl you are
As I offer you my hand should you take it, oh there you are!
It is always as it should be
In the near…in the chaos…in the far.
You are my daughter, you see, so here we are, you and me.
Swing free under that night-sky, sing your song of let-me-be
And I will ease your sorrow, light a way along your path.
So you keep your hope alive, and I will journey with you for awhile,
As you are here today, your day, and I remember
My little girl with the summer-time smile.
Poem and all photographs copyright (c) Sherri Matthews August 2013