Section II: stanzas one to five

Kay now jumps ahead in time - she flies past her son's childhood, as if it has passed in an instant.

She peeks into his room, suggesting the action of an anxious parent checking on their young child. The use of stare recalls the opening of the poem and we empathise once again with her sense of longing. Her son is away, away travelling the world. The repetition here emphasises the distance between them and how strongly she feels the separation.

In stanza two the mother follows the child's progress, reversing the parent/child roles. The different places mentioned, Costa Rica, Bolivia, Lima, highlight the extent of his travels.

She compares her son's travels and his growth to adulthood to sea turtles.

From the Caribbean side of Costa Rica to the Pacific,/ the baby turtles to the massive leatherbacks

The contrast is apposite here - it implies that this journey enables growth from child to adult. The baby turtles reminding us of Matthew in his Moses basket.

The grandfather’s words inject the poem with a voice of realism which contrasts with Kays’ rather romantic tone. The practicalities like altitude sickness interrupt her wistful narrative. The reader is alerted to the challenges of Matthew’s daring adventurous nature. But to Kay he is an explorer searching for the lost citywearing a Peruvian hat, at one with his new environment.

The webcam allows Kay to see her son first hand. He has a new haircut, suggesting he is changed by his experiences. His face is grainy, blurry. This recalls the initial floury baby he used to be.

The webcam itself contrasts with the scan photograph mentioned in the following stanza: one is wholly in the present; the other a memento from the past. Even in the womb, Kay implies, he had maturity and eloquence:

you were lying cross-legged with/ an index finger resting sophisticatedly on one cheek.

This grown up posture adds humour to the image. It suggests character and confirms Kay’s affection for her son.