The walk along the Old Forest grounds
had done nothing to slow things down.

She pushes the front door shut,
calls out to the empty house.

She takes the key from round her neck
winds its thin cord around her fingers,

drops it into the metal dish that keeps
things in their right place. Waits.

She hears the neighbours still playing
that same Christmas song that plays

every year. She sits on the third step,
hums along as she loosens her coat,

takes off her knickers, reaches down,
feels the baby’s head.

first published in Record and Play (Red Squirrel Press) 2013

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