A Letter to My Daughters

mezzo-soprano and piano trio

Poem by Anne Ranasinghe

Date: 1998Composer: Lori LaitmanSong Collection: Daughters

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My mother walked softly round her silent house

While images faded from darkening mirrors

And the grey ash of fear

Fell.-She knew

There would be no return, as I know

Your childhood is sealed for ever,

A ship in a stoppered bottle.

Now You travel strange roads, sleep

In strange beds and your dreams

Are the dreams of a stranger.

Your life Speaks with a different tongue.

Memories grow transparent

I search for your essence

In hastily scrawled letters, and

Recoil from the apprehension

Of your total absence. The wind

That sweeps over sea and over land

Effaces all tracemarks-it measures

The distance between us. And distance

Takes many forms–of space and time.

Heart, mind and darkness.

So I shall light

A lamp in my window every night,

To comfort myself and also

To guide you safely home.

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