Grandma likes to re-purpose.

She once gave me a calendar from 1987,

Featuring photos of tractors,

In case it would come in handy.

It did not.

She has several mismatched teapots,

Yet she only likes coffee

And her garage is full of half-upholstered chairs.

Plump money plants and bright orchids,

Lining her windowsills,

Jostle with dusty cacti which make me sneeze,

So we must sit outside together , escaping the clutter,

Waiting for spring to arrive.

Rain drips from her gutters and the garden ferns

As she presses a rusty tin into my hands that once held fudge,

Because I’ll never know when I might need it.

I keep it as a reminder of these damp days.




I followed you

To make a new life for us,

Which was a gamble,

Although I never take risks

And I wish I hadn’t.


I gave up what I had

Now I start again from nothing,

Nobody knows me, or cares to,

In this lonely place,

And I wish I had stayed behind.


I still listen to your breathing

Try to time it with mine:

In-hold, two, three- and out, two, three, and four

I realise that I still love you

But sometimes I wish I didn’t.


If my wishes could carry me away

We would float off

Quietly, in the night,

Where I would sleep alone without thinking of you

For a while.





Spilling Over

She pours the water into the jug

But, distracted, she forgets to stop and it keeps running until it overflows,

Drops cascading down the smooth glass sides and pooling onto the table.

After mopping the puddle up she goes to talk

Just wishing to answer a question, but she says too much and the words spill out,

Covering the carpet in jumbled shapes.

She goes to pick them up, pink with embarrassment,

Unable to take them back fully.

Silence then presses down on her, threatening to yawn open and swallow her whole.




Keeping On

It never rains, but it pours:

We all know that.

Cloaked now in cloying drizzle

From grey rain-clouds,

One thing after another

Goes wrong for us.

We look ahead to blue skies,

Clinging to hope.

While we are waiting, we change,

Get used to rain,

We put our umbrellas up,

Our faces down.

And when things work out later,

For that they will,

Good luck never shone so bright

In our tired eyes.










Playground Blues

We swing together, side by side.

Our feet are up the air

Until they block out the sun above us.

You are too big now

For me to push you.

You want to do it your own way,

Like I taught you:

Push your legs out,

Once you are off the ground,

Then tuck them back under.

Legs straight, then bent,

Straight, bent, straight, bent.

I am so glad you can do things for yourself

More and more everyday.

That is what I am here for, after all.

But it is also hard

To be less needed,

Soon you will no longer believe my silly lies

Like my chocolate is only for grown ups

And the park is closed in the early mornings

When it is raining.

One day we will not play together on these swings at all.

But at the moment

It is time for the seesaw

Which remains, for now,

A game for the both of us.


Toothpaste Love

The road to hell is paved

With desires such as yours:

To love me as much as I love you.

I can tell you want to love me more,

More than you really do,

But it is not something you can force.

Love is not squeezed out of the soul

Like a tube of glue

Or that last bit of toothpaste.

We both know that.

Now we have a voice within us

Telling us we are not enough.