We’ve got all day, he says,
fingering the words
like prayer beads.
We'll take it steady, stop for tea.
There’s no rush.
He savours each word like a lozenge
before letting it loose.
The lullaby letters
bump gently together
as they fall from his lips.
He returns to his paper,
a blanket of little black script.
With the words still warm on his tongue.
And through half an eye,
he watches her lift the bubbling kettle
with two hands.
Outside, the car sits, waiting.
Packed full with pickles and pillows
and bottles of pills.
His hands meet as he turns the page.
A spoon clatters, sugar spills,
words scatter into dust.
He watches until the kettle
returns to its cradle.
Take it steady, stop for tea.
He breathes out the letters and turns the page.
Vowels and consonants swing out across
the room, drifting their giddy scent.
We’ve got all day, he says.