Beneath luminous mountains runs the autobahn. It is just before dawn
and I am going along with my right hand on the steering wheel
and my left reached back to hold my daughter’s hand.
She is sitting still, staring through her dark window
looking out for the year ahead, thinking of what has just been,
thinking of what I don’t know.
The family car is quiet
we are in haste towards the morning,
and hundreds of miles from home.
My daughter’s fingers feel warm and soft in mine,
like flowers they are patient with love for me
and possess a tolerance exceptional to a daughter’s hands.
Sometimes her fingers stir, massing
their separate intelligence away into
lonely enquiries that leave me empty-handed, and ignorant.
And then her fingers come back to me, and they hold on.
The mountains are behind us now,
we are driving through an ash-coloured valley.
My daughter’s hand in mine
nothing being said only our fingers
playing out life in handfuls of our flesh and blood,
teasing out of the years to come
something like sense, a shared undertaking.
Sense and fellowship in hand-holding,
nothing being said,
everything in place.