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From The First Year
The days fail: night broods over afternoon:
And at my child’s first drink beyond the night
Her skin is silver in the early light.
Sweet the grey morning and the raiders gone.
the baby in her blue night-jacket, propped on hands
With head raised, coming out to day, has half-way sloughed
The bed-clothes, as a sea-lion, as a mermaid
Half sloughs the sea, rooted in sea, basking on strands.
Like a gentle coastal creature she looks round
At one who comes and goes the far side of her bars;
Firm in her place and lapped by blankets; here like tides
Familiar rise and fall our care for her, our sounds.
Buy the Faber Book of 20th Century Women’s Poetry, ed. Fleur Adcock, from an indie bookseller here.