Five songs for Daddy

by Lynn Hutchinson Lee

One: England

Do you see the moon? Dikh. There. Behind the clouds. No stars.
The wind is shaking the vardo, shaking the mirrors on every wall of the vardo.
The mirrors reflect the moon.
four mirrors/ four moons/ four children
four moons in the vardo
shining on the children
Ssshhh Sleep

Lizzie Lee’s vardo always on the road
The wheels of the vardo turning
Wheels that carry them across the north
Tikno Daddy the little one playing the bosh, working the puppets
wheels of the vardo carry them across the north
across the north and back
Eight-year old Daddy loses an eye. Look. Dik.
Here’s his new eye made of glass
The deep brown iris that looks at everything/ sees nothing
His eye a mirror reflecting the worlds.
The bright world of hedges, fire, the stream
Shadow world of stones and fists

Two: Leaving

The shore disappears
they are pulled away by wind and currents
no vardo/ no mirrors
nobody throwing stones at Lizzie Lee and her children
they cast off their skins in a new country/ on a new road
Canada, without shadows
Beds in a shed/ a tobacco farm by Tillsonburg
Lizzie Lee and her children bending to the leaves every day
Picking tobacco
travelling
picking tobacco
travelling
every day

Three puppets on the bench.
Twelve-year old Daddy builds the frame, stretches the leather,
carves the wooden eyes/ the wooden hands,
attaches the eyes to the mechanism,
makes them wink,
makes them open, flirt, flutter, see.
Sixteen-year old Daddy
picking tobacco/ travelling
picking tobacco/ travelling
Daddy’s hand in the puppet
Turning the head, opening the mouth. Speaking. Speaking the world.

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