I creep downstairs, sneak past Mum’s room
where you have never slept. I don’t think Mums and Dads share a bed
and babies are delivered in wicker baskets by the milkman.
I ask for twelve, promise I will take care of them,
but this morning it’s just two pints and an orange juice carton.
You make my bacon sandwich to soothe the daily disappointment
whilst I spread the tomato ketchup around my mouth like an ointment
and grin at our little secret. I even help you clean up
before Mum comes down and you tell her I haven’t eaten.
I see you wink at me as she enters the kitchen.
You leave the house for work at 7.50am
to the sound of the porch door creaking open.
I never understand why you walk half a mile to the station
when the train tracks run right past our back garden.
Maybe grown ups aren’t fast enough to just jump on board.
Maybe they’re too chicken to take the leap into their imagination.
Maybe you’re the reason I turned vegetarian.