When Dad’s Away

When Dad’s away my mother blooms,

a princess in peachy lace,

gives the hoover the run around

serenading the baby on her satin hip.

 

We feast on scrumbled eggs and tin salmon

cross-legged on old magazines in front of the telly,

let the baby suckle to kitten-soft sleep,

leave the fairies the dishes.

 

Night-time my brother takes the dog to bed

and I whisper waking spells,

crossing fingers three times, three times, three o’clock,

to tiptoe to the big bed

and lie in the lee of her back.

 

Miranda Lewis 2016