A poem by Michaela Ridgway

This year
for Katy and her son

January will hold the door open for you
and you’ll carry him in, under an oak moon;

a blue garnet in his small, clenched fist
will throw light into that forest of lengthening days.

In February, the snows will melt and freeze,
form pearls on its branches: he will wear them.

Your girls will cut wood and swim under water,
fetch mermaid’s purses and stars for him.

As the earth dries, begins to show itself again,
March will grow him a birch wood cradle.

In April, your hearts will open.
Love, like water, will find its level.

May will bring summer to you,
flowers and shells to decorate your windows.

June, July and August will warm him, warm him;
set your hearts aflame.

Then the last of the crops are gathered in,
acorns are falling; only a few flowers left standing.

Calendula. Sweet September. Winter is coming.
October’s bells will ring you safely home

and you’ll sing your way into November,
pick berries together: such days are these!

December wraps him in mystery. You light candles,
make pumpkin soup; he dreams of dragons.

Michaela Ridgway lives in Brighton. Her magazine credits include Magma, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Orbis, Other Poetry, The Frogmore Papers, Antiphon, Tears in the Fence and The
Interpreter’s House
. She hosts the monthly Pighog Plus! poetry night at the Redroaster in Brighton.