Your duvet, flung with stars,
lies horizontal on the bed,
the soft parts gathered
in the bottom corner, like a hibernation.
But when I pull on it, to flatten the curves
you pull on a corner that is not a corner:
ball yourself like twisted cellophane.
I lift your book, fractured around eighty year old glue
into story slices that crack, then
slide away from their cover …
after one chapter I ask how your day was,
you say a boy asked where you lived
and said he was going to get you
and you are ten years old.
I feel the words deepen within me,
brace myself for being called an hysterical mother
or being told they didn’t mean in that way
or that they are such a lovely boy
or that this must be approached in a certain way.
I think about this boy’s mother,
I think, as I shuffle the story slices into their cover,
turn out the light.
Stella Hervey Birrell is an award-winning poet who has had work published by the Scottish Book Trust and highly commended by the Poetry Archive. Her website is tinylife140 blog, and she can be found on Twitter @atinylife140.