The Envelope

Second of the poems for each week leading to the London Marathon.

The Envelope

by Rachel Butterworth

Today I looked in the envelope
That holds the locks of your hair
They look so delicate and tiny
You can scarcely see they’re there
Cut gently from the back of your head
When you lay perfectly asleep
When your soul was already elsewhere
Dreaming so silent and deep
Your cheek against my fingers
As soft as any peach
The feel of your tiny fingers
That for me would never reach
Your perfect rosebud mouth
That gave no cry or breath
The silence that surrounded you
Stark confirmation of your death
My baby was gone already
Her little body could not stay
A week later and your funeral
Replaced your naming day
All physical trace of you burned
Like a brightly shining star
Forever in the heavens
So close and yet so far
All that remained of your existence
Were these tiny little hairs
The last thing I can touch of you
My proof that you were there
They are my greatest treasure
Beyond any price to me
They are my first daughter
My longed-for beloved baby
I’ll keep them always with me
Until the days of this life end
When I hope to see your perfect face
And stroke your hair again

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