"You are as stupid as each other!"
he shouts. My shoulders go up, throat closing.
Anger like heat off a car in the sun, I dread sitting in
his presence. Put his supper on the table
then don't know where to go. Out
in the middle of the night, what if the police saw me?
Regret listening to the football, the tension
of missed opportunities building. Yesterday
you told me, sounding all grown up
with your new, deep voice, "It's not your fault!"
But I remember my mum saying it was. My fault
as a child, it must be my fault as an adult. Later
when he has gone to his bed, and I sit on yours, you say
"Why do people have children when they don't want them?"
and I say "You are brilliant! Things will be OK!" I feel like
when you were little on the beach, and the tide
was coming in - you insisted we dig trenches, raise walls
and I didn't say anything as we worked frantically side by side
trying to stop our beautiful sandcastle being washed away. I miss
going to the beach. But you are too old for sandcastles, now
and I don't know how to tell you I love you more
than all the grains of sand the sea has ever made
and so does your dad, but he longs for the tide