Wrist bone against wrist bone we press
palms together slowly, my daughter
and I, measuring which hand is longer:
Mine, only just, and not for much longer.
Bolts jolt through as this tender press
of skin to skin makes me see that my daughter’s
hands are mine, twenty years before I had a daughter.
The fingers – eloquent, smooth, longer
than average — designed to delight and impress.
Mine, now elegant no longer, but sturdy and strong for this press of my daughter’s.
An early afternoon I lay, listening to my mother’s
heart, small head on chest as her blood
pulsed through, slowing into sleep.
My breath matched hers: ‘Shh. Sleep’
she commanded, though my mother
drifted before me, and I followed her blood
lines as meditation. My own blood
drummed a faster rhythm, as before sleep
I dreamt of myself as some-day mother.
Now, head on pillow-as-chest, my finger seeks again those bloodlines
of my mother.
Just like her grandmother they say,
she laughs. Airs of me
circumvented by airs of her.
Looking at the breath rising in her,
I laugh. It’s true what they say,
she is more her grandmother than me.
But deep in my daughter, a trace of me
sleeps expectantly within her
belly. Just you wait, I say.
Someday, there may be one of whom they say she is more me than her mother.
Karen Morash a playwright, poet, and academic originally from Nova Scotia, but now located in Kent, UK. Her work has been featured in Literary Mama, Live Canon’s (More) New Poems for Christmas, Understorey Magazine, Bare Fiction, Live Canon’s 2018 Anthology (shortlisted for their International Poetry Award), and the Sentinel Literary Journal (first prize in their quarterly journal), amongst others. Karen’s plays have run in the London fringe and festivals, and she currently teaches at Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance.