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Kate Gold: a poem


They can't believe their eyes.

Strolling through their dappled afternoon:

their stone bridges and rose cottages;

their brook, bumping like wheels over cobbles.

Then we arrive, child of my child and me,

and a silence surrounds us.

She dribbles, a constant soggy slime.

Did I mention she loves Bach cello concertos?

And she gabbles a raucous random repertoire.

Did I mention she swims like a dolphin?

And she giggles at invisible comedies.

Did I mention she loves to drum?

And she squints sometimes, in strange sideways sightings.

Did I mention the joyful feeling as she smears her love all over me?

And her legs are like sticks and her hands clap and clasp.

And they stare, as she sits there –

bold, brown and beautiful!

Did I mention her skin is a delightful shade of demerara?

I want to shake them;

shift their perception from form to content.

I want to say,

Haven’t you ever seen a five-year-old, mixed race child

with cerebral palsy before?

But I don't.

I look them in the eye

defiantly and I say,

Lovely day!

Kate Gold lives on the edge of Dartmoor, UK and is a painter, poet and carer for elderly folk with dementia. She completed a Masters degree in Creative Writing with Bath Spa University and has taught creative writing and led poetry workshops in HMP Bristol.

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