Mollie with an ‘i e’

by Sharon Ashton


A poem for Harriet Katherine Mollie Green on her Naming Day, 9th April 2017


The spelling mattered to your great grandmother,

‘It’s Mollie with an i e,’ she’d say, ‘the Irish way.’

Her link to a daddy who’d crossed the sea from Antrim

to be a carpenter in Birmingham, pine curls in his turn-ups.

And she’d happily have given you bracelets, rings,

other pretty things, but these are easily lost or broken,

their meaning forgotten— better to give you her name.

And who knows? In time she may be there in your smile,

in the curve of your face or waves in your hair,

in the way you catch a ball, or your fury when you can’t catch a ball;

in kindness to strangers, in unquestioning love for family…

Her gift to you, a name; yours to her, to live on in you.