I’m lying in bed on damp sheets
Thinking back forty years
And what am I doing forty years on?
It’s nineteen sixty five.
I slip from the bedroom.
Everywhere is too quiet.
The white tiles in the bathroom
And the strange light.
My half reflection is almost yellow.
My pee is almost orange.
Isn’t it neat the way it hits the water like that?
Listen, I am nine.
Nine year olds think like that.
At least I did.
Still do sometimes.
I wander into Mum’s room.
The eiderdown is heaped on the floorboards.
The bed is bare.
In the centre of the white sheet is a pool of blood.
I think, you could hang the sheet from the window
Like the flag of a new country.
That’s what I thought.
I’m in the kitchen.
It’s unusually tidy.
There are no crumbs on the table.
The back door is locked and there’s no sign of the key.
How did I feel?
Was I scared?
I can’t remember.
Maybe it was like a game.
I’m in the sitting room.
The ash trays are full.
The sun is streaming through the curtain crack
Like a cinema.
You can see the sunbeams.
You can see dust boats gliding along them.
My heart is thumping.
I sit and watch the thin strip of sunlight
And wonder what to do.
There’s a banging on the door.
I peek through the curtain crack.
Two policemen are standing on the step.
I go back into the bedroom and get dressed.
I wonder when I wet my pyjamas.
I put them in the linen basket in Mum’s room.
Then I sit on the bed and wait.