|Bonnie Frances: Between nought and nineteen|
though a bridge is now between us;
a bridge too far.
When she was three months old
and having feeding problems,
on advice, I took her in to see a specialist.
Oh how she cried when I handed her over!
The woman doctor passed her back to me, fairly promptly, a surprised look on her face.
She stopped crying instantly,
the second my fingers clasped her tiny torso,
before her fragrant breath could touch my neck.
'That's amazing' said the specialist:
'I've never seen that in such a young child before.
She's very astute.'
Then she had me repeat the exercise
one more time.
My girl did not let me down.
Then she screamed the whole way through the examination --
our girl, not the doctor --
taking breaks in my arms to catch our breath.
Nineteen years later, it seems she is more likely to scream
when she's near me than anywhere else.
Everything, but one thing, changes
between nought and nineteen.