First week away

29 March 2011 § 12 Comments

Counting down

At three
She’ll be home:

An hour remains
Of this week in my own skin
Before I assume the shape and antics
Of Daddy once again.

I should spend
These sixty stolen minutes
Savouring the peace
The lightness of heart and head
Freed from questions
Relieved of needs –
Live a little longer
At a grown-up pace.

But I’m waiting.

Quiet has become
Space, emptiness;
Liberty, the lack of her.

And for all I wish her
To go free
And seize her world

Mine is flat
When she’s not in it
To give it roundness
And horizons.

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§ 12 Responses to First week away

  • this is a beautiful piece..the feeling of that empty shown extremely well.. Eliza Keating

  • gonecycling says:

    Thank you for your visit and very kind comment, Eliza – so pleased you liked the poem. I don’t write about my daughter very often (or not nearly as often as perhaps I should) but last week, her first away with the school and the longest we’ve been without her in 10 years, was something different.

  • belfastdavid says:

    Beautiful Nick,

    There are always stages in their growing up which, no matter how long ago, stay in our memory

  • Ina says:

    Hi Nick, that was a great poem 🙂 The fear of what might go wrong if they are out of your sight, it does get easier in time!

    • gonecycling says:

      Thanks for your comment, Ina, and the reassurance! We knew she’d be fine (she was away with the school) but it still felt strange to be without her. Still, we got used to it…already missing being able to nip out to the pub of an evening!

  • slpmartin says:

    We long for them to grow up and miss them when they do…well capture in this my friend…beautifully written.

  • gonecycling says:

    Kind and gracious as ever, Charles; thank you so much. What it’s going to be like when she goes off to college, I don’t know. Still, at least I’ve got another eight years to prepare myself!

  • Narnie says:

    What a beautiful poem. Ohhh she will treasure this when she is older. I have to admit, when one of mine goes off it is like a different house, family, life for a while no matter which one of them it is. It changes the whole dynamic of everything really. But the essence of them and it all really… is that they come home. 🙂

  • gonecycling says:

    Thank you for another kind and generous comment, Kiersty. The house was definitely different (even the dog noticed) and while we enjoyed the break (she’s 10, and this was the first time she’d been away for more than two nights) we were very glad to have her back. It was only when she’d been gone a couple of days we realised just how all-consuming parenthood is, and how totally our lives are intertwined now. Which means it was probably just what we all needed.

  • Brendan says:

    I read this nice poem with great bittersweetness, having become estranged from a stepdaughter I raised through her teens and then hearing news of her going from bad to worse. She’s in coma now after a near-downing incident in a pool last week, high and drunk. I’m saddest for the sweet sweet child she was in the early years of that first marriage. The hours are precious — the burden savage, too — and its great you know that. My stepdaughter was 10 when she and I took up life together, and she was thrilled to have a dad at last — for a couple of years, at last.

    • gonecycling says:

      Thank you so much for sharing that, Brendan – I’m humbled by your experience. My daughter turned 10 last weekend and I feel the ‘little-girl’ years slipping away already. A ‘savage burden’ indeed, and one I don’t always feel mentally, emotionally or physically equipped to shoulder. I hope your situation is resolved soon. Thinking of you, my friend.

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