They were all odd dancers.
Up on their toes,
twisting in an old wind.
Shifts turned to ragged sails
from long wrecked ships
still trying to take their home.
Spent nights wrapping
their bone fingers tight
into abandoned symbols.
Gathered at last on the hearth,
faces pressed against soot
for the strings not to pull
them up again.
Up onto their toes
to dance like strange, dying flames,
guttering the last of their wicks.
This was the house with the old kettle
squatting short and fat on the rayburn,
a singing throat gurgling
to be lifted with care
from the hot plate.
Oil fire constant
within arm’s reach.
Shall we have another cup of tea?
Two wrongs don’t make a right,
but two lefts, plus two lefts
take you back to the start
and two sponges make a Victoria,
though two birds can’t make a bee
and two books are a sequel
not a cycle.
Two days are forty-eight hours
and not nearly a week
even when they feel like it.
Two attempts are still just a start,
two attempts just the same
are quite often a mistake.
Two trips means you’ve forgotten,
three trips means write a list
in case the first gets forgotten,
two people can ignore each other,
two people in a small space
will likely try to ignore each other,
one person might not ignore the other
and one person might wish two people
would go their very separate ways.
Two redrafts might not be enough,
no redrafts is laughable,
two rejections for every acceptance
is a very good acceptance rate.
Two poems should not be the same,
will never be the same.
You are here now, though not quite part of this world just yet.
Suspended inside me, you are growing into yourself,
becoming a person, becoming someone waiting for the first fall.