I am happy staying put; not joining in. But your
sun-stroked face keeps peeping around the corner

of the day room: eyes locked, that fierce smile,
your whole heaving body beckoning me to better worlds

down the ancient stairway. The attic is not
the softest of homes, but it is humble, so I can brag.

Perhaps one day I’ll make it down that way. I can
almost smell the meats burning early in red mornings,

imagine you all rushing round the kitchen in a dance,
dodging each other’s jaunting elbows; tucking in

each loose end, your work-day clothing
thick as a board. Ten years from now

you’ll find me up here, wrapped in paisley blue,
sniffing at the sewn-up edge of the family quilt.

Why don’t you shine me up and take me out to market;
rinse the odour from my oatmeal mouth. I only liked

the times you came to check on me when you
bought a warm cup of something, otherwise it was a bore.