For Clara on your first birthday

I forget the time when there was no time at all

When a stretch in the crèche meant midday drinks

And catching rays was a festival stay.

I forget the time when time went uncounted

When nights fell into mornings and mornings into

underground clubs painted silver.

I forget the time when the house just stood

Waiting in quiet for your baby chat to echo

When all my efforts to write sought words of elegance.

Now your ‘nah, nah, nah, nah’ ‘da, da, elongated ‘ya,ya, ya’ and

loud ‘ta,ta, ta’

break time with beauty.