Thin string clouds red against blue sky. Winter approaching. I must prepare. Kids in the bath splashing water up the walls. Enjoying my brother’s visit, the first in months. ‘Where are we going today?’ In the carriage hacking through the Rhondda. Wild squirrels in Radyr fight over bread. Local store, fizzy pop, buy one get one free. Weeds beside the canal. Eating bread for ducks. Buggy wheels through dry leaves. Burgundy tights running through a million broken haiku. Horse scatter. ‘I’d like a cake with a purple sweetie.’ Run for the train. ‘Quick, quick.’ Amélie asleep – holding hands with panda. The chemist is closed out of respect for Mr Thomas. Damp cellar, wood shavings underfoot. Kindling collection. Off cuts return life to stove. Fast as a bird without narrative. Pasta boiling. Food for fussy children keeps them sweet. I’m home again – hat on the newel post – my girl safe in bed. A battered white cat curled into a ball. Calm fills me with hope.
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