The Art Student and I have spent a long weekend away from activism and the desk respectively to help celebrate the first birthday of my great-niece Naomi. I didn’t manage a sonnet for the occasion, and that was just as well, as Naomi’s parents had devised a sweetly solemn naming and welcoming ceremony that was a complete thing in itself without any great-avuncular versifying. But November’s quota must be filled, so here’s one after the event:
Sonnet 11: For Naomi Grace
Naomi Grace has just turned one,
a girl who lives up to her name:
delightful, graceful – just as sun-
flowers the sun or moths the flame,
all faces follow where she goes
and stop when she’s in yoga pose.
Today at Cram’s Farm was her naming
ceremony: father Damon,
read aloud with mother Paula,
called on us to be her people
(rellies, friends, no church, no steeple),
and whatever might befall her
love her, back her each endeavour,
weep as needed, dance forever.