Single.

This is a poem I wrote shortly after I became a single mum. It’s going to be published in a wee book this year, which is nice.

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The nights are longer.

Blackest blacks soaked in sleeplessness

Familiar groans of tired brick and

Well-walked planks echo under the burden of

Pregnant troubles.

Those humble sounds mumble, ‘alone’, ‘alone’,

Peeling lids from defenceless eyes despite

The pleas of my expended shell.

‘Alone!’, ‘Alone!’

Burrows into my marrow,

Turning safety of cotton and duck-down

Into a tomb

Where greedy spiders stalk thoughts.

Rescue comes dressed in a stifled sob;

Ruing your own spiders

Commands me back to purpose.

Three-foot of saltwater shivers makes me

Bold.

My dreamless knight of milk and spun gold;

Puzzle-piece reunited with aching arms

Allegro hearts steady as we balm fears

Nose-to-nose.

My exposed bone—

Paper-crane boy,

I will hold you here until the final sun’s embers fade

Afraid

Of nothing.

Gentle padding of pilose comfort unfurls

The orts of our worry

10lbs of reassurance beds against my chest

To the furry thrum of content

As sleep recedes to

Ice-cream dreams

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