Distance Redefined

From dawn one day to the next
late afternoon you lay crossways
as I hung on: my deckchair womb.
Driving alone a week later
- you're with your father -
I stop to phone home four times
in half an hour, missing
the belly-flop of your surprise
each time the car door slams.
At the beach I lick sand
from your eyes, lids pressed
like pages of a book around a flower.
And when strawberry welts raise
concern I hold your warm hand,
all night, precious as the earth
that folds between us
so hemispheres softly touch
and distance must be redefined.
Before school I tease out knots,
divide your hair evenly
into three, plait, then loosen
the strands you say pull too tight:
our lessons of separation.
So let me take this chance to say
when our earthly apron strings
are severed, I'll be bound to your side:
less flawed, less fettered.

More poetry by Carolyn Fisher