Number 3

Remember days at number 3
when we had time to sit? And see
the raindrops coursing down the pane
and race them, giving ours a name?
Remember when the storm would light
the chintzy curtains in the night
and we would huddle in our bed?
Remember all the things we said?
and how we giggled endlessly,
when we were young, at number 3?

Sparrows

A group of children, accompanied by their teachers, waits outside Saint Thomas’s church, eating biscuits and chatting. The church is due to open at 4pm, but the huge wooden doors remain locked. The RE teacher, a big man wearing a black shirt, makes a phone call, shrugs, and eventually guides his congregation away from the church, the sound of merriment receding into the dusty afternoon.

Sparrows peck for hope
at Thomas’s sandalled feet:
finding only dust,
they gather its providence
and fly heavenward.

Mother

When this apple tree is axed and carted to the yard

its old leaves stripped, its twisted branches cut and carved;

when birds and errant squirrels are summarily dismissed,

and mistletoe is torn and puckered lips unkissed;

somewhere beyond the function of its analytic brain

beneath the anxious beating of its heart, the alignment of its grain

we will get down to the nub, that grande dam the tree would be,

except artful years bore sweetest fruit contorting destiny.