Deathbed – New Poem (1st draft)



All they want to do

is curl into the space between

my breasts and belly,

and stay there,

contended as lambs.


Instead, they sit around me,

cross legged and twitchy,

and take notes for my poems

in turns.


While one cries,

the other writes.


Daughter has cut her hair,

and has worked a lock into

a tight braid, so a part of her

can still with me when she is

cooking toast or brewing tea.


Son always leaves something

important, so he has to come back.

Really, it’s because he’s scared

I’ll be gone when he returns.


I’d love to walk out onto the road,

feel the heat of the softening tarmac

on my bare feet. Son

and Daughter tell me

this whole summer will be

a belter for good weather.


Son has lent Daughter his sleeping bag,

one Ray Mears recommend.

Daughter thinks if I have more cover

I might last a little bit longer.


At least now, now we have spent weeks

looking, listening, talking, touching

I can say we know each other.