I tied your umbilical cord with a piece of red yarn
a tiny scarlet bow that was soft,
so soft on your sweet velvet skin
You looked up at me with liquid eyes and I knew that you knew
that my own cord was severed long ago
before I taught myself to breathe.
I handed you to your mother as soon as her eyes were open
eyes like yours, only wiser
She played with your toes, watched them turn pink
a technicolour message of hope
I knelt at your feet,
dressed in my finest rags.
I opened my mouth to speak
but you reached out your tiny hand to silence me
I didn't have to tell you
about the moment the world turned dark.