The cup

scrabbling barefoot up the wall
not afraid to fall
you’re invincible, after all

you hear her call
“ya midden, get back here!”
no fear

of that
you drop
down the other side

think and think of the best place to hide
granny’s is always a safe bet
grandpa’ll not be home yet

you’ll risk the ‘granny’s pet’ refrain
which is a pain

but that’s nothing new
and there might be a few
biscuits in the tin.

you dart across the street, let yourself in
the house, a haven
granny’s used to saving
your skin
and though she mutters about sin
to strike fear
you turn a blind ear.

comforted by her presence
you say you’ll do penance
though you never will
you’ve had your fill
of confession.

still, you say you’ve learned your lesson
and she smiles
at her favourite grandchild
draws you into a hug

– then takes you by the lug
marches you across the road

this doesn’t bode

the cup that fell
still in pieces on the carpet

and mum’s all het
that cup
a gift from dad
when you still had

no wonder she’s mad
you go out on a limb
say sorry, start to cry

wait for her to fly
into a rage
but she’s no longer on the same page
and the shouting does not come

instead, she seems numb
‘oh, what a muddle’
she says and pulls you in for a cuddle

you don’t deserve it
but you take it.

you think of him
how you miss him

those feelings you have to hide
to keep inside.
an unwritten law
gift or flaw?


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