Once the reverse-charge was accepted
it was just you and your mother
light and distant
you could hear her disquiet
in the miniature pauses
your father’s rice boiling in the kitchen
so the only way to reel her in
now she was caught unawares
was to say you were lonely
so she’d put down her spatula and clear her throat
and you’d know you had a few more minutes
while the crowd of boys outside your booth
faded and you were in her presence
could hear her breathe
Christian Wethered is a Dublin-based poet and songwriter. His work has appeared in PIR, The Moth, The Madrigal, and several anthologies by Dedalus Press.
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