Think, two things on their own and both at once.
The first, that exercise in trust, where those in front
stand with their arms spread wide and free-fall
backwards, blind, and those behind take all the weight.
The second, one canary-yellow cotton jacket
on a cloakroom floor, uncoupled from its hook,
becoming scuffed and blackened underfoot. Back home
the very model of a model of a mother, yours, puts
two and two together, makes a proper fist of it
and points the finger. Temper, temper. Questions
in the house. You seeing red Blue murder. Bed.
Then midnight when you slip the latch and sneak
no further than the phonebox at the corner of the street;
I’m waiting by the phone, although it doesn’t ring
because it’s sixteen years or so before we’ll meet.
Retrace that walk towards the garden gate; in silhouette
a father figure waits there, wants to set things straight.
These ribs are pleats or seams. These arms are sleeves.
These fingertips are buttons, or these hands can fold
into a clasp, or else these fingers make a zip
or buckle, you say which. Step backwards into it
and try the same canary-yellow cotton jacket, there,
like this, for size again. It still fits.