It creeps up on me.
Too calm this morning in the car,
you were all sitting perfectly.
A quick kiss goodbye
but you needed another,
turned into a game, then scatter
as if someone flicked a switch
you were running
two back down the stairs
one on the top step crying.
I didn’t tiptoe warily enough
I forgot to check the label, volatile
explosives, slippery as fish
and no one is listening.
The bomb squad needs a cool head
a steady hand, but I begin to simmer,
stomp from one incident to the next
hiss ‘settle down’ through gritted teeth
yank them back to the top of the steps
make my getaway, weeping to the shops,
drive too fast, blame everyone but myself.