She could not say my nickname – “Sasha,”
Could not master the shushing sound
Lots of toddlers have trouble with.
She was always different though,
Always doing things her own special way
She invented a new nickname –
“Aliya” she called her aunt – me.
(It really is a nickname for “Alexandra,”
But she could not know that.)
So, for a few precious years “Aliya” I was,
Until she became all grown up – five years old –
It has been “Sasha” ever since.
She is a beautiful young woman now.
Was she ever a toddler? Hard to imagine,
But to this day I treasure her childhood drawings:
A portrait of someone with curly hair,
A caption – carefully scribbled letters:
Live for the Love of it,
The Happy Amateur
© Alexandra Palmer