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23 June 2014

Absent Father

I find myself here with a baby with delicate bones,
fine features and blue eyes, who – especially asleep,
when she's at her most beautiful – looks exactly like you.
The fine movements of the lips, the almond-shaped eyes,
the one dimple on her right cheek.
I still find this resemblance strangely, unsettlingly painful.

I imagine you waking up beside that other woman,
whoever she might be; she will never find out
about this one aspect of your life.
I find it hard to picture you; I don't know your apartment,
but I imagine you waking up in it, flat on your back,
elbow tucked beneath your head, thinking of your baby,
somewhere, with someone else, hundreds of miles away.

For a few minutes every once in a while,
more rarely each year,
and too briefly.

Taken from A letter baby's absent father in The Guardian, 7th June 2014. Submitted by Angi Holden.