She weren’t much kip at comforting,
our mum:
a lozenge on the tongue and a darkened room
were all we expected in exchange for our illnesses.
Outside, the occasional screech:
“Turn that down, yer sister’s sick!”

The council house would rattle
whenever one of the neighbor boys
in a desperate bid for freedom
would ram his whole body into the bedroom wall.

Like birds they beat against the windows
until they finally broke something inside
that made them congeal and settle
like bad meats in the fridge.

But the few years they struggled against it
were beautiful
the way the eye of the snagged deer
is beautiful
in those last few seconds before it glazes
legs pedaling frantically for the far meadow
and the safety of dark trees.


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