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Daughter's Gift

Posted: Fri May 22, 2020 7:50 pm
by TrevorConway
Dull odour,
my nose swoops to her swollen nappy,
wondering what lurks there.
Her enigmatic smirk is no answer.

Laid on the bed, towel beneath her,
nappy, wipes, tissue and powder
set to the side like a surgeon’s tools
before I can think to begin,

still hopeful she’ll spare me
and reserve the worst for her mother,
unbuttoning a vest to revelation
(just as the surgeon unbuttoned her).

A noxious mess of modern art
applied in ancient strokes
awaits my appreciation,
though this is hardly a time for thought.

She wriggles like that part of me
that swam the canals of her mother,
till one hand hoists her legs,
the other assigned to worse labour:

dabbing tissue –
a tool to reveal
an imprint like a hot fossil on her cotton skin –
wary of the gush of her spring.

I wait for a moment of stillness
to baptise her with a wet wipe
and button her again,
to the tasty click of each clean strike.

She looks me in the eye as the last hits home,
sceptical at the job I’ve done,
or maybe it’s a strain of love
I haven’t known.

All suggestions much appreciated. Does it feel too wordy and long-winded? If so, what verses/lines/words would you take out or replace? And is the ending too...I guess twee is the word...or corny...? Or does it fit okay in a poem of this type? Thanks, all

Re: Daughter's Gift

Posted: Sat May 23, 2020 12:13 pm
by NotQuiteSure
Hi T,
this doesn't feel either original or interesting (or short enough!) to me (though perhaps there are parents out there with whom this will strike a chord).

(S5 - 'canals' seems ill-chosen, and the ambiguity of 'her' (is it N's wife's legs being hoisted) is amusing, though clearly unintentional).

I thought 'strain of love' was surprisingly humorous, and maybe that would be the way to go.

A noxious mess of modern art
applied in broad-brush* strokes
a bloke nonplussed by nappies
is the oldest of old jokes.

But ...

When she looks me in the eye
and grunts, it all hits home,
hers is the purest strain of love
that I have ever known

(*no idea what 'ancient strokes' might be)

Regards, Not


Re: Daughter's Gift

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 3:03 am
by ton321
Hi trevor,
I think you've done a great job of showing those paternalistic feelings/ impressionistic, and in the moment. Felt real.

Re: Daughter's Gift

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:01 am
by TrevorConway
Hey Not,

Thanks for all the feedback. Yes, it needs to be tightened up/shortened, among other things :D And will keep the need for more originality and other things in mind when revising.

Thanks very much,


Re: Daughter's Gift

Posted: Sun May 24, 2020 8:02 am
by TrevorConway
Thanks a million, Tony. Really appreciate your take on it.