Waking alone at night I picture you
features face-lifted into weird relief
by the angle poise – by the reverse shadow
of light doing the paperwork of death
or probing the long darkness of the ward
with a pencil torch. Here a dilated eye
stares oddly; there an unconscious word
hops from the forest floor as you skirt by...
By day we swap. I cycle off to work
to play with kids, to hug them when they fall,
to soothe their worries with a tease, a joke
or, telling fairytales, make sure they all
end happily. Forgotten in the warm
penumbra of my day your sleeping form.