Occasionally, now, she can be prickly,

As hormones without warning ambush her,

Diverting her from habitual dimples and smiles,

Into causeless tears and despairing shrugs.

She does not know why she feels this way,

But I do. I remember.


So I open my arms and pull her close –

Small enough still to tuck under my chin,

With room to spare.

As she nestles into my chest,

Her father’s blue eyes look up at me

From her upturned face, freckled and pale

Like cinnamon sprinkled on milk.


She is all elbows and knees, jabbing into me,

Lithe and lean,

Limbs like knotted rope

From the hours upside down or swinging high

In her purple velvet leotard,

The slightest curves beginning now to break the lines.



Filed under individual development, parenting, poetry

15 responses to “Twelve

  1. Lovely, you’ve captured it perfectly. I remember that time vaguely. Wouldn’t want to repeat it for anything!
    Thanks for linking up to #fartglitter

  2. Ah what a lovely poem and a lovely way of capturing this particular moment with your daughter #FartGlitter

  3. Such a tricky age to be! ‘Nestles into my chest’…. no matter how big and strong they grow. Loved it.

  4. Aww bless you, cute poem, they grow up far too quickly! Popping over from #fartglitter

  5. bet the time will whizz by…very sweet post x x #fartglitter

  6. I love this. Twelve and skinny and just hormonal. That was me and it is a tough time. Nice your daughter can still come to you for a hug and she will always need you! xx Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst and see you again x

  7. This is perfectly written. 12 is such an awkward age where the transition from child to adolescent is happening and you have captured it so well. It is fantastic to be able to read poetry from someone that I didn’t know wrote it – having read your blog in the past! I really hope to see you again (next one is tomorrow!). Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x

    • louisek2014

      Thank you so much for your comment Victoria. I don’t write much poetry and feel a bit of a fraud doing so, so am very grateful for your kindness!

  8. sarahmo3w

    So beautiful! And so true. Kids just don’t stop changing and growing. My boy has just turned 12 and we’ve seen a bit of irrational, out of character behaviour from him recently.

  9. Nige

    Beautiful I remember those days so well #bestandworst

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