I wrote this for baby Trinity, whose newborn body they found in a dustbin outside Tree of Hope in Edenvale this week. All it took were three steps more for her mother to find the baby door. There’s a profound message in it for all of us, as well as a call to mourn and fight for women and children this month.
The Wind blows where She wills:
Swaying acacias as barbet trills;
And miggies swirl and fruit flies float;
She booms from lion’s rumbling throat.
She whooshes in the sprinkbok’s leap,
And swirls the dust round elephant’s feet.
She stirs the trees where leopards doze,
And carries scent to wild dog nose.
She breezes through where duikers hide,
Shushing the veld where rinkhals slide:
Oh Wind – how lovely, wild and free!
Come here, Wind! Come blow on me!
Rush in! Come! My mind’s distressed:
A newborn child who knew no breast,
Naked, cold, she died alone –
No one heard her mewling moan!
O Wind! They found her thrown away –
She hardly breathed You, or knew play!
Soft Wind – did You carry her wispy soul?
Sing her a lullaby? Make her whole?
And, as her mother turned to go,
Did You howl then? Did You blow?
Did Your tears become the rain
Fall to Earth as darts of pain?
O Wind! My Love! What have you seen?
If my heart’s heavy, how Your’s must’ve been –
Blacker than the tarmac’s black –
When You tried to call her mother back.
All it took were three steps more
To open Hope’s tiny waiting door!
Perhaps the echoes of Your calls broke through:
Those who found her named her after You.
We would have loved her, held her, set her free!
We would have laughed with sweet Trinity!
And here’s the truth: though we be cold and sore,
Just to walk those three steps more.
Come, O Wind! So lovely, wild and free!
Come and breathe Your Love in me!
Till all within me sighs again
And buds and blooms and bursts, and then,
Trembling in Your gentle breeze,
Like pompon petals, scatter me!
Bridget Tinniswood, 4 July 2020