Her time is near now, my daughter, soon to be a mother.
I watch her step growing heavier. Others watch her too;
her young friends, our neighbours, hiding suspicion
behind their smiles. She is changed. Girl into woman,
innocence into wisdom, and doubt into a quiet certainty
of the wonder contained in her womb.
I watch her face as she rests, and see her in all her ages:
taking her husband’s hand in marriage, singing as she picks fruit
in the garden, listening as her sisters welcome her into puberty,
laughing and tumbling with her brothers, talking to her dolls,
reaching out to her father when she walks for the first time,
looking up at me with eyes full of questions.
So few years to become herself. So few years to keep her as mine.
We sit by the fire and I rock her as we sing lullabies for her child,
love songs learned on my knee, sung by my mother to me.
When she sleeps, I wrap her in the quilt I began before she was born,
embroidered with the names of her lineage, all our mothers
and grandmothers who have known this waiting time.
I trace the threads of my name, then hers, my daughter, Mary, who one day
will add her child’s name, a son, who will make this quilt complete.