Sidney Lawson

Garden
(for Joan Lawson)

You are my opus,
My valuable,
My green-thumbed work.

As rainbow-producing
Hose sprays of aqua
Scatter your greenery,

Your beauty becomes
Obvious to me.
When I litter little seeds —

Or pull weeds from the
Permeable soil
In your dominion —

Or watch robins and
Chaffinches land in
The mist of your midst —

Or perform surgery
On your life-giving
Ground, sieving

Baby beetles from
Turf-encrusted
Earthworms,

I become one
With God’s Eden,
No longer just human.

I am neanderthal —
I snuggle in the
Soil among the plants.

 

Designer Baby

What would people a hundred years ago
Think at the thought of you, Gucci Baby?
IVF set you going, your echo exploded
Into life like a sputtering car, brand-new,
Streamlined, designed, manipulated.
Your uniqueness has been annihilated.

At three months, they say, your fingers and toes
Are no longer webbed, your status as
‘Embryo’ has ebbed away as you’ve grown.
Mummy’s little multiplier. How do you feel,
Chanel Baby? Heavy? ‘Will my eyes be blue?’
Of course! Mummy chose them ‘specially for you.

Before you existed, Prada Baby,
They gave your mother a menu like so:
Please select an eye colour for your baby…
Please select a hair colour for your baby…
Please select a skin colour for your baby…
Intelligence, musical ability, fertility…

It’s endless, your powerlessness, it’s cruel.
It’s wicked, it’s brutal, someone’s a fool
Not to consult you on the hell you’ll live in.
Right when you’re six months in, and the strife
Of life is with you. You can feel pain now,
Dior Baby, humanity’s brainchild, literally.

Into luxury French linen you were born,
Into the hands of someone with a PhD,
Probably. Then handed to your mother.
She looked down and her ‘perfect’ child,
Shredded from the labour of childbirth
And still found you too imperfect for this Earth.

Sidney Lawson is a 15-year-old literature lover who fell in love with poetry after reading the work of Sylvia Plath, Carol Ann Duffy, and Philip Larkin. He uses poetry as a way to process emotions and navigate teenage life, and also has a keen interest in reading and writing novels and short stories.