To my younger son, on his fourth birthday by Ingrid Casey


From a winedark table I see a still-bald tree top, a lung.

Snakes and Ladders and your many cards, my fifty

seven month companion. I had thought, during the

labouring, that I was going away from the world,

leaving your siblings. You made a star of me in that

triangle, the consultant at my back, your father’s arms

the masts I clung to, and I a ship in full sail. Up from

the hold you came, all vernix and April fury. But there

has been no betrayal, and I am no ship. We are on land,

another branch; you grow carefree, shuck off rain, snow,

and we are fractal, we are four years fractal.


Ingrid Casey is a teacher and writer. Her poetry has been featured in a range of literary journals across Ireland and Britain, and her fiction has been shortlisted for Doolin Writers festival, Retreat West, and the Ghost Story Supernatural fiction competition. Listen to her read her story in The Lonely Crowd here.

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