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she hoped that Jack would come up the stairs and hold her


she had heard him moving, swift on his stick

and then he wobbled loosely into the room,

the floor still churning, a livid sea.


poor old house clattering again – and the bricks

once again trembling out of her

and landing in wet piles amongst the hydrangeas.

she said: ‘I hoped that he, Jack, would come up the stairs and hold me.’


he’d passed her – over by the dressing table,

crouched under the jiggle of her jars

all on the march –

and put his arms around the grandfather clock,

bent his head towards its white face,

shushing away a rolling disappointment.




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