Elizabeth Williamson – four poems

Twinkle Twinkle

Every night time, every nap
since before you had words to ask for it
your hand would make the sign for “twinkle”.
Every bad dream soothed
every midnight fever cooled
by this diamond in the sky.

A few years later
you have learnt
that there are other songs,
different words,
and this is good;
when I tuck your duvet over you
still I wonder what you are.


First Tooth

For two weeks you wobble it
whilst I empty the loft
of baby stuff for donation
to a friend and her bump.

This was the first to erupt
as the weeks of colic blurred
into months of teething
in one long wail.

This was the one that bit me
drawing bloody milk,
and enough love
to carry on feeding you.

This tiny fragment of you
is stolen from under your pillow,
bought with a silver coin,
kept for a charm to remind me

that you are letting go of your babyhood,
and so must I.


If love was enough

Would the hole in your heart mend
if I found the words to darn it?
Would the stones that drag at your shoulders
turn into mist if I hold you tight enough?
Would the tangle in your guts each morning
unravel if I found the end –
Or the beginning?

Would this pass from us
if I could take it from you?


End of the beginning

By then the pain had become my shrinking universe,
immobilised and muted by it,
all my strength was not enough,
I couldn’t find the way to make you leave.

Blessings on the stranger – name forgotten
with his small sharp steel pain
who offered me a way out
and chemical numbness,
I didn’t feel you leaving me.

My power of speech restored
so I could whisper to you
“Welcome”.


Elizabeth started writing in 2014 after being encouraged to join Jo Bell’s “52” project – “write a poem a week, keep going”. Much to her surprise, she did manage a poem a week, some weeks more than that. This despite a life filled with being a GP, having two small girls, running, morris dancing, knitting and keeping pigs and chickens. Fortunately she doesn’t like being bored.

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One thought on “Elizabeth Williamson – four poems

  1. Debbie Cannon June 5, 2015 / 1:07 pm

    These are lovely! Beautifully expressed. And how I remember my gratitude to my anaesthetist! Thank you!

    Like

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