You’ll always be a thing of sun-dazzle and sweetness
soft as fingertips, suckling nectar and tuned to bliss—
No butterfly will be gale-torn, wasp-stabbed, clawed
or pinned—not while I inhale your hair, listening
What do I say—that boys turn into men
their shoulders broaden though not to a wingspan
That a boy knows flight when he runs—
the cape of the universe streams behind him
That a boy’s mind is never caught, he
asks what no one can find answers for
It’s his mother must change shape
if she wants to follow him there
Olivia McCannon is an English poet and translator. Her collection, Exactly My Own Length, was shortlisted for the Seamus Heaney Centre Prize and won the 2012 Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize. Her translations from French include Balzac’s Old Man Goriot, modern poetry in Poetry of Place: Paris and contemporary plays for the Royal Court theatre in London.
She wrote the script for Beauty & Beast, an animated short film by Clive Hicks-Jenkins and David Slack, which can be viewed here.