||The Sick Room
A man reading The Daily Herald,
a woman and her pram, struggling with a bag,
a girl skipping and talking to her doll,
two workmen running in overalls
my father jerked his hand up pushing them away as they passed through the curtains
and door over his bed. I was five. My mother wouldn't let me see how hard the
room was taking it. It wasted away, worn to nothing by pedestrians filing through.
Colour was draining from the roses on the wall.
The ceiling thinned, letting in the sky.
Tarmac was emerging through the floor.
My father whitened, turning into his sheets.
One morning there were street noises behind the door.
The city repossessed the room, swept the curtains back. Distances entered. Last
time I went there, the room had been worn to a pavement by the feet.