Written for dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics: Threads of Feelings (posted by Sarah Connor)
In 1739, Captain Thomas Coram opened the London Foundling Hospital. He’d been inspired by the number of destitute children he had seen on the streets of London, and spent 19 years raising funds to open the institution. Mothers brought their babies there, hoping that one day they would be able to return for them. Babies were baptised, given new names and new clothes, but their original clothes were recorded. Mothers also left a token, as proof of identity in case they did manage to return.
love token: a gift that is symbolic of a love relationship
I want you to think about these tokens. Maybe one of these images catches your imagination. Maybe you want to think about a token you would leave, or have been left. Maybe there’s something you carry around to remind you of someone you love. That’s what I want you to write about.
These pieces of rags
are the tatters of my heart
because I cannot care
for you now.
But oh my child,
when I return, together
we will burn the past.