In a house of corners and stairs
and my grandmother’s cooking is a room
of permanence and wood, with a too-small
window and a bed that’s a boat built
from soft history and wheat, where I wait
with my sister beside me to be orphan,
adventurer, queen; where I wait
with her to be old.

In a house of morning and birdsong
and my children grown away, grown from home,
I am smoothing the night from the sheets,
soothing the watchful, the wakeful; his touch
on my hip, his younger self’s face as he sleeps.
Outside it is Tuesday; the hour of click
and stretch, and if I listen hard with my head
on one side I can hear a distant child cry.

In a house of salt wash and light
and my bed carried singing to the sea,
I cover the counterpane with petals
and pictures, sleep with my skin
to the sun and the whisper of trees,
feel the velvet speak of his breath
in my hair; wait to be orphan,
adventurer, queen.



Claire Dyer