Stunned by the bolt
of genesis, high-browed,
big royal-blue eyes
we gave you the title
of a queen - Elizabeth, the third
girl, our fifth off-spring,
sister of twin, John;
As soon as you could
shuffle over our floors
you found that you could open a door
by pulling yourself upright
with the aid of its knob.
there was nowhere safe:
our stuff was yours, and the house
became your pen.
Rowen, the eldest, Jessie and Jules -
even then were your slaves,
stooping and skivvying for you.
I caught your sister,
from your nest-bed like a bird.
an imperial finger,
Jessica! you said – with zest -
your first word.
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