for quinn

Sarah Dalton

Sometimes, I still dream of you.

Is it possible to remember

something you never knew?

Maybe not.

Maybe not hands, not eyes,

not tiny webbed feet,

 

but I remember how it felt.

Remember the plastic glow-in-the-dark stars

I excitedly tore down from my bedroom ceiling,

just to rearrange the constellations above yours.

I knew I would teach you how to name them, point your

gripped fingers towards the sky.

 

I remember the freckles that would have scattered your cheeks

like dot-to-dot, mirrors of mine.

Remember how hard it is

to hold a baby that doesn’t cry.

I remember how I counted sheep in the hospital room,

one,     two,     was I counting for me or for you?

I’m not sure–     three,     four,     and still you slept,

baby brother, eyelids closed and dreamt.

 

Sometimes, I still dream of you.

Of the night I crawled beneath your cosmos

that never did glow properly.

Twelve years old, fingers crossed tight, wishing on a

plastic star that some miracle

would get you through.

 

It took me years to realise that the miracle

was just getting one moment with you.

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© Helicon Magazine 2019

University of Bristol