For Beau


When we first met, you were a sonogram sent
to me by your mother via online messenger; soon
you were a series
of selfies she took in a full-length mirror
to show off her magnificently developing belly.

Since November, you have been gracing
social media as you grow bigger and bigger,
into yourself,
finding your way in a strange world outside
the womb: parents for a compass, a star chart, a sail.

Once, before you, your mum and I went
to Brighton, seeking ice-cream and new tattoos;
we found a photo booth
in the back of a vast bric-a-brac shop, captured
ourselves laughing four ways in black and white.

I tell you this because it happened, because
for a little while longer you must remain
a series of images
and memories of images, until it is declared
safe to travel the miles to hold you, to cry a little;

and I tell you because you are here
in these times but you will not remember,
although I will,
that it was a long wait before we really met, but that
the wait was worth it, and will never be so long again.




Also by Laura,