“A Poem For My Future Child,” by Zoë Mertz
February 13, 2020
Inspired by Sarah Kay’s “B” (or “If I Should Have A Daughter”)
To my little chick, hidden away, not yet emergent,
When you are born, your eyes will be planets reflecting the depths of the universe:
moon-starer, they’ll call you, my young astronomer, a child of the stars.
Chickadee, small and sweet, your feathers speckled like the freckles on your cheeks,
already, you are my heart
break, dream by day, mare by night.
The fears I will whisper will form smoke and ribbons, this dark lullaby keeping me from cradling you close.
Do you remember those midnight secrets I braided into your hair? Darling,
I am a craftsman, a storyteller, a worrier, and too much a child – I am apt to forget to remember that
you are not Icarus; no tragedy is written in your stars.
“All children, except one, grow up,” but
you are not Peter Pan, trapped forever in Neverland, that place between stars, in need of a mother to guide you home.
Someday, I will realize that the finger-paint and glitter glue I’ve given you have given way to creation, and
the frame of the wings you’ve built yourself will send a shadow over the sun, and
you will spread your wings and take flight, (m)y love. The sky (a)waits your (ma)gnificence.
Zoë Mertz is a 2017/18 Youth Poet Laureate Finalist. Performed at Seattle Arts & Lectures’ Poetry Series event with Paisley Rekdal at Hugo House on February 6th, 2020.