This poem is the last poem in the collection Her Birth, and is called 'Last Poem', and I see it as a kind of love poem to Molly, a kind of a promise to her that I'm going to look forward. After the death of a child I think it is hard to think positively and if you are fortunate enough to have another child who is healthy and well, it's still very hard (or I personally find it hard sometimes) to think that everything is always going to be all right. But the older she gets, the more robust she gets - she's four years old now and she's really enjoying herself, and she's really okay. And I think I owe it to her to look forward with her.
So extraordinary was your sister’s
short life, it’s hard for me to see
a future for you. I know it’s there,
your horizon of adulthood,
reachable across a stretch
of ordinary days, yet I can’t believe
my fortune – to have a healthy child
with all that waits: the bike, school,
mild and curable diseases.
So we potter through the weeks
and you relax your simian cling,
take exploratory steps, language
budding at your lips. I log the daily
change, another day lived
with every kiss goodnight: wake
relieved by your murmurs at dawn.
Come and hold my hand little one,
stand beside me in your small shoes,
let’s head for your undiscovered life,
your mother’s ready now, let’s run.
from Her Birth (Carcanet/Northern House, 2013), © Rebecca Goss 2013, used by permission of the author and the publisher.