Evening. The gathered day
hangs in unfinished spaces:

gateless lawn, a garage door propped
with waste metal

I work to free our house-stone, a pebble
bedded under the call-it-the-dining-room sill

if you get that loose, said dad,
head down, chin breeding chin, we’re done for

I take him at his knockabout wisdom,
worry out another planet of sand,

wonder how the sky will treat us
when the pebble’s gone, when I kill our life

will the street-corner shitheels
walk straight through where the kitchen lived,

knives of shadow barring oven-pad mum
from the roast she sighs towards?

will I sleep high in a bucket of air,
spud-guns poxing my bum?

inside, mum and dad laugh at the tv –
a skim of light wakes mirth

at the foot of their gulley. For a giggle’s width,
they forget what they’ve become

but it must be done: the pebble
is now a blue half-tuber, shucking vertical ground

heat watches me where it furls like a tramp
in the garage roof’s mesmerised ripples

when the pebble bounces, I’ll fly up
small myself under the heat

till nothing shows, not a tuft,
like on those best nights, Fridays

deep in the eiderdown kingdom
when school has dropped through another week
when time skins over the downstairs rages

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