Camille for Her Middle Name
(in conjunction with Mademoiselle Say poem)
Daughter, out of womb – she’ll soon be the greatest half of dream left in me.
Braid lilies in her locks, lace ribbons to her socks, and tie bows in her hair
There to complement her ruffled frock and dress her as a doll.
May she thrive, showing promise for the paint, the dance,
To be poetess after all or better yet sculptress,
(But not altogether in the clay’s beguiling thrall)
To shape her way through the madness,
And ever still, retain all of her dream.
She may forget my vanishing half if need be,
For she is what I hope for during my day and through my sleep
All the same; oh, I would die for the child!
I say, Camille for her middle name.
This I know if never I have known a thing.
I’ll think of what I shall call her by the first afterward;
For the last, she’ll have her father to blame.
As of presently, as if meant to be, Camille has come to me
Camille fits perfectly, for her middle name.
– But she no longer responds her tiny hands
To my lullabies and unheard remain my caressing
Tries at reviving her replies.
Mother, into womb – I am unborn for every time you cry,
Every time for terror I have torn you inside.
There I find scars that have been tearing before me
And their mending is weak for ripping at heart.
Because I could not complete your dying dream?
But if I could speak and my meaning not be aborted,
Nor my words misconstrued prematurely,
Surely, I would say miscarry this burden
Still in your groaning womb.
– May you thrive and keep your once birthed promise
To the paint, the dance, to your poetess or better yet,
The sculptress and reshape your way through the sadness.
Retain your dream and too, if need be, keep one half in me
And I’ll be all the same, ever here to love you:
I, too, say Camille for her middle name.