I sleep alone but never in pyjamas
not since you cast them from my bed
in not-quite-mock horror.
You wouldn’t let me turn off the lights
as you stepped back to get a good look
at my body, its bulges.
Your hands roamed my skin (bristly
in places), your tongue explored spaces
I never even took my fingers.
You reached right in to the centre of me,
looked through my eyes and saw.
Your pleasure came from mine.
You didn’t rush away, but after you’d gone
I found your watch (heavy bracelet, expensive) –
a corny ploy, but gave me hope.
You were so brisk when you returned.
I knew you would never come back.
Still I go to bed naked.
Pregnancy took away her taste for tea.
Baby brought it back. I brew up hourly.
The midwife comes, I make a pot for two.
I take up a fresh cup, find her spark out,
son asleep on her still bulging tummy.
I retreat. No tea needed.
New instructions and a nappy change
when they wake. They’ll be hungry –
I find the nursing pillow, peel potatoes.
I’ll receive my reward in cuddles
with my new nephew. His dad’s turn
to stay home next week. I’ll be back
in my empty flat with my empty diary.
Today I’m here with them, for them.
Is that crying? I put the kettle on.
Jill Abram is the Director of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, a collective encouraging craft, community and development. She presents and produces a variety of poetry events, including the Stablemates series of Poetry and Conversation. Twitter @MalikasKitchen Instagram: @jillaabram