Cupboard Love

There is a photograph

Of us somewhere

Standing backs turned

On each other

Me in my high school skirt

You in your office Farrahs

Heads hanging heavy

Mouths empty

Your neck had

Half abandoned

Your tie

We were half way through

Tearing out the old

Supplanting with the new

The lino has come loose

In places the barbed fur

Of its underneath

Puckered with glue

Our bare feet are on the boards

In the kettle’s huff

The wallpaper is peeling

Where we went picking,

Revealing, the ochres

Of your first-married home

Behind us:

The maniac spirals of stove;

The tin foiled fat soiled grill;

The groaning puce faced fridge,

Hum their discordant dirges

Stand resigned to relegation. –

Look so bleakly impotent: alone

But still there might have been,

We might still have made

So much heartiness here -

There could have been a banquet

Dad if you could come back

I’d lavishly set

The piss-yellow pine table

Hammer-pocked in wrath

And warm your bones

With broth

I’d bring us softer light

And feed us back

The might

We used

To keep our tongues

Still for a year

Estranged from words of love

For fear

Of what was coming next

Maybe we could

Use that strength

To go the distance;

Go the length,

And see each other through

The changes in me and you

Foretold like prophecy

When we thew

Our kitchen in the skip

We could reclaim us from the tip