We were told in the garden, up
steep deep crooked steps – wellies dragged
by clumsy feet – grass dancing, rainwater pooling
on the rough shed roof
and us in hoods, stood
in a triangle facing in, near
where potatoes later grew, now
the earth empty, maybe
a worm stirred, unsettled
by the boom of worried
rubber shifting weight.

Later, dad
drove a van full of our belongings
300 miles; cross-legged I sat on the carpet,
a foot from the TV – giant, grey, old
thing, sticky power
button two inches wide
that cathunked home
when you pushed – playing
Nintendo, lost
in the colours,
in the elated expressions
of Italian plumbers.

Before he left
we sat one either side
on the sofa – the throw salmon
pink, tasselled, rough – our little
legs sandwiched his big;
he put his arms around
our shoulders and tried
not to cry.
I had his watch arm,
and I clutched hard
as an eight year old could
to his thumb, which was callused,
and shiny brown
as the leathery hide
of a broken-down
workhorse.