Poem # 6 | When I Get Home


When I Get Home

I remember the way in her saddle shoes
she sat, Mr Moonlight beneath her
tongue and swinging slowly on a children’s
park for the last hour, burnt
amber, of an early March evening,

and how she smiled as though I
hadn’t worn my best skirt only 3 hours ago
for him to just
stand on the doorstep while his brother sat waiting
in the car, telling me was the fault, really, of the
boy who did push ups at 4 in the morning
in the hallway but only brushed his teeth
twice a week. I told him it was the fault, really,
of the books I used to read and the noises I could
hear through walls while he was asleep.

But, sat swinging as she smiled I realised
how strange it felt to wear
somebody else’s ring,
and even though my mother said it would
keep me safe all I could feel was the fresh rain
soaking the linen drying in backyards
of Tipperary, and the cobbles of streets I had
never walked over,

and her sepia smile in a café that became a bank
seven years before I was born, and the Christmas presents
for her 10 children, chosen in a post office in
July and stored in a box beneath the counter
for months until she paid the total, and
her youngest son stealing sips from the
milk bottle before bringing it
in from the dark December doorstep, and
Frank Spencer on the TV every Thursday
night at 6,

and the smell of church windows cleaned with
vinegar and newspaper, and the red
hair clogging the shower drain because
she had six daughters,
And I thought to myself,
“when I get home, I’ll take it off”.
So I did.