Recently your world has changed –
tipped upside down, then rearranged.
Same room but not.
Same cot but different ceiling overhead.
Same things but in a different space.
Confused, you stared – where is this place?
The house we left was our first home.
You’ll have no memories of the farm next door,
the rolling fields or the quiet lane.
But you’ll hear stories as you grow.
You’ll know that this cottage in the hills and up the track
was where you spent your baby-days;
where you learnt to crawl and walk,
where you napped outside with tractor-noise and bleeting sheep and birdsong sweet.
Where we were a family of three.
Where your laughter flung and stuck to walls,
where you taught me how to be your mum.
And as the contents of the house became a wall of boxes
I packed away the memories that clung like dust to every room.
‘This is where…’ and ‘do you remember when…’s were bubble-wrapped
(the most precious thing to store away).
An empty house but yet so full of you.
Memories tucked under arms, we said goodbye.
You blew a kiss and waved.
And we moved east – up another hill, a quiet street.
‘Mmmmm?’ you asked (‘where are the cows?’).
‘Brmmmm?’ you tried (‘where is the tractor please?’).
‘Aaaahh?’ you wailed (‘are there sheep nearby?’).
I shook my head, and how you cried.
That first night I thought my heart would break.
It took three days before you’d smile.
We knew it would just take a while to adjust,
so many things were different.
And at night, I held you close and whispered in your ear:
Yes, this home is new and it’s all strange –
but we love you.
My dear, my darling, we love you
and that will never, ever change.