November 2006

My brother has been driving round for hours,
Lost somewhere up Remington Road.
The shrapnel of another holiday
are splinters in his eyes.

It’s oily night when the front door opens.
The screen door whines shut behind him.
His shoulders cringe as if back from lashings.
He stumbles in the door:

“I don’t want to talk.” I set out the cups.
I bring out the cocoa, he sits.
My sister scrounged up some more sugar cubes.
He smiles at that a bit.

I take the kettle off as it whistles.
We sit down to eat together.
There is no food left in the house but sweets,
So dinner is chocolate.

He is still bruised, he still wears the salt scars
Beneath his eyes, the weary smile,
The hunch of his shoulders against the chair
Like mother’s behind him.

Later I watch him watch television,
Wrapped up in a yellow blanket
On the shag carpet ‘cause we can’t afford
The comforts of home.

Published first on Weebly, April 2007