Jessica Tenth of May, we love you dear.
We love the very day that you were born.
A time of year when you can always hear
birds sing echoes of spring across the lawn.
The time of year that follows after spring,
when things are warm and fresh, not cold and blue.
When grass has risen, birds will always bring
their young upon the wing, we’ll think of you.
Of life renewed, a time to make a start.
A chapter one and time we can review
what values we hold dearest in our hearts
and, at this time, our hearts go out to you.
Whilst mother dotes and smiles, on seeing you,
does father ever wish you’d been a boy?
I think not so, he’d rather eat his shoe
than alter you, and subdue his joy.
When you had just begun, then, we first saw
how very small you were, a vulnerable one,
how innocent, how free and very sure
of love that’s yours ’till time and tides are done.
Of family, so many words are spoken.
They give us strength for when all others fail.
They focus minds on universal hope
there’ll be a time when common sense prevails.
But words are cheap, unless with purpose written.
For those of value, where is the undoubted truth?
Only that you leave us rather smitten
and fairies cannot wait for your first tooth.
Remember, sweet and tender child, how you
are treasured by your parents, and that they
are much loved by their mothers, fathers too
and this is all you’ll need to find your way.
Of all the things in life you’ll ever hear,
that you will see and feel and smell and taste,
your love, your loss, with happiness or tear,
it’s family that’ll save the human race.
Oh Jessica Tenth of May, we love you dear.
We wish you all the luck you should expect,
but wish you more than just an outsized tier
of life’s lush cake, of things you can dissect.
O no! Our wish for you is that you’ll find,
within your special personality,
the strength inside forever to be kind,
to trust your spirit and faith in family.
© 2009 John Anstie
[edited January 2018]
(Read the author’s commentary on this poem)