How many conversations can I have
while I walk down the never ending
stream of parents at pick up.
Moving with the ebb and flow
of the tide of tired children
hot on my heels, eager to get home.
There is no time for Hello how are you
How is work going, oh what do you do?
Dive in there, forget the small talk
Exchanging the headlines, turning while I walk.
Three word sentences seem to work quite well
Questions and answers flying, no time to dwell
Birthday meal successful?
Sleep any better?
Roof on shed!
Bit chilly - park?
Sausages and mash
Sea swim Friday?
Nice jacket - new?
The Tourist, iplayer
Meet outside gate
Early pizza - pub?
Done test, negative
Finally I’m at the front of the queue
Your smiley face appears in the door
Cardigan, book bag, ear muffs spilling out of your arms
Together once more
I love you.
‘Do you want to be buried or burnt’
You ask me at dinner
You could have asked when we were driving
When I could get away with being distracted
‘Probably burnt but remember I’d be dead already,
I wouldn’t be alive’
But now have you got an image of
me being burnt alive...
‘Bodies get turned into ash when they are burnt
A bit like the ash from the fire’
Suspiciously you glance at the wood burner
Your face creases with sadness
as your mind begins to whirl
‘Who will be at my funeral mummy,
You’ll be dead’
Spaghetti shows itself again from your mouth
as you stop chewing
and your tears take over
You crawl into my arms
Such big thoughts for your little heart.
Parsnips in disguise
Cut into strips
To look like a chip
They do not pass your lips.
Cauliflower finely grated
Blended between macaroni cheese
Mushrooms chopped up small in spaghetti bolognese.
Thank you carrots, broccoli and potato
For being there
Loyal through all the year
Especially in the winter months
When other vegetables and fruit
Have faded into summer skies.
And thank you cucumber and celery
Even if you’re extra watery out of season
But I don’t need a reason
As long as you eat them
Then we’ll reach your five a day.
The faithful apple and tangerine
Waiting patiently with the grapes
Easy peelers not so easy
But we eat them anyway.
Never would I have thought
We would have so many discussions about watermelons
And their ability to vanish when autumn arrives
You cry for watermelon, the queen of all fruit in your eyes
My secret weapon I can use to bring a smile to your face.
But carrots, broccoli and potatoes
What would I do without them
Even when you say ‘not again Mummy’
I still feel pleased they are in front of you
All year round
As three of your five a day.