‘Where Love goes’: an inspiration for Swan Song

In my writing archive (a.k.a. The Shoebox) I keep all kinds of writing, dating back to my early childhood. A while ago, I was digging through the papers when I came across a poem entitled ‘Where Love goes’ which I wrote many years ago, before I’d even dreamed of writing a book.

I was startled, upon reading the poem, to find it contains the spark of an idea on which, years later, I’ve built my new novel. Swan Song – currently in production – is about a girl, Ava, who lost her mum in infancy and longs to connect to her mother in a meaningful way, as does the narrator in this poem.

All these years on, I itch to edit this poem, to rewrite parts of it, but I am publishing it here just as I wrote it, to honour that younger me who dared to put pen to paper.

Where Love goes

The lady in the corner shop
Whose eyes twinkle as she adds a sherbet bomb
To the bag of penny sweets
Clutched in my little hand

The woman at the playground
Pushing her golden-curled baby on the swing
Laughing at his cherubic chortles
Smiling sadly at my haunted stare

The swan on the stage
Impossibly graceful; exquisitely beautiful
Twirling on tippy-toes
Pirouetting before this ugly duckling

The pretty lady in the photo
Cradling baby me
Loving baby me
Leaving baby me

She is everywhere I look
She is nowhere I look
She is all around
She is never found

A world full of mothers
But none is my own

One day, strolling in a park,
I will find her
In the rainbow cast by a fountain
In the fluttering in my womb

But now, age five
Pigtails askew
I am too young to know
Where Love goes

Writer. Bibliophile. Bench+view lover. Aspiring cake baker (accomplished cake eater).
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