WATER CHILDREN by Ellen S. Jaffe
by Steven McCabe
Buddhist women may sometimes have special prayers and shrines for babies
who are miscarried or aborted, whom they call “water children.”
Water child, I bring you
chrysanthemums, ripe pears,
coloured ribbons to tie up my prayers.
You live, still, floating in some sunless sea
out of reach out of reach.
I call you by name, but you
are too far away
and you have not yet learned
how to hear.
I am the water child.
I am a lump of sugar dissolved in a bowl of green tea,
next to these white chrysanthemums and red ribbons.
I am a small pool, with one goldfish swimming in circles.
I am a humming-bird’s tongue, double-dipped in nectar.
Do not be sad.
I am not angry at you.
See, I will kiss you there, there,
nectar-wet kisses so another child
My kiss is a tiny moth,
a mayfly that lives only one day.
Someday, you will forget me
but not yet, not now.
I need you to water the white chrysanthemums.
I need the red ribbon connecting us, heart to heart
as it did once,
while I lay sleeping underwater
inside your skin.
I will sing you a lullaby,
braid the prayer-ribbons, red and green,
around this pear.
You could be the child inside the peach-pit
who accomplishes great deeds,
kills the raging monsters causing havoc
in the kingdom of my dreams.
Timimoto, Tom Thumb, Thumbelina
my bushel of tears my water child.
Ellen S. Jaffe writes poetry & fiction and teaches writing, and makes her home in Hamilton, Ontario.
Beautiful images and words – they dance together so well – Good one Steven…
Thank you John…a painful but liberating dance…glad you feel they work well together…
I’m kind of knocked out by this one. A real pleasure to make your acquaintance. I look forward to spending time here.
Glad it kind of knocks you out. Good to meet you. Hope you find other work on the page you equally enjoy.
WOW! Fantastic and powerful! Kudos to both of you, Steve and Ellen.
Thank you Kim. I’m sure Ellen also appreciates your comment. Glad you were able to visit the page.
Powerful work, both of you.
Thank you Linda. Your comment is much appreciated.