Your father shows me
A toddler seat
For his bicycle
And my breath stops

How can I send you both
Out into the world
Riding at speed
On these tiny scraps of metal
Among the menacing hordes
Of automotive monsters?

I joke that I would like 
To wrap the two of you
In bubble wrap
But am I joking really?

The thing is
Wrapping someone 
In bubble wrap
Is not such a great idea

When I wake in the early hours
Fresh from strange dreams
Of pandemics and post-structuralism
I have a terrifying image
Of you encased tightly in plastic
Slowly suffocating under the layers
Of insulation that I have tenderly
Wound around you to keep you safe

It is something people say
All the time, ‘I want to wrap
You up in bubble wrap’
It means I love you
I thought I was just doing
What mothers do

I never dreamed that
I was more dangerous
Than the things
I fear

So instead I offer to wrap you
In a silky-soft down comforter
Hoping you don’t have
Your father’s allergy to feathers

But I suppose
You would rather
Take your chances 
On the toddler seat

Photo by Yaopey Yong on Unsplash