Daughter – Joanna Ingham


Sometimes I love you like a jar of moles, breathless,
teeming, full to the lid. There are so many versions
of you I keep preserved in fluid, your tiny pink hands,
noses pressed against the glass. Sometimes there’s no
room for anything else, no sense or balance, just
collecting, and the memory on my phone is full
because I’ve taken too many photos of your face,
the face that keeps changing even though it’s always
yours and you used to have fur on the back of your neck
but it’s gone now, like your chin that was always wet,
the way you’d burrow into my side with your little head.
Today, in the museum, I love you like this. My skin
is aching with the thought you won’t always be beside me,
looking at the moles with your sad compassionate eyes.

Joanna Ingham’s pamphlet Naming Bones was published by ignitionpress in 2019. She won the Paper Swans Press Single Poem Competition in 2020. Her poetry has appeared widely in journals and magazines and has also featured in The Sunday Times.

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