No place for Regency chairs in the council bungalow
where mother was demoted to a single bed
with double wardrobes stood either side like bouncers.
After years flapping a duster across surfaces ,
skimming a Hoover over ‘bits that showed’:
a filthy tidemark arose up magnolia walls,
stains flooded carpets and curtains gingered
from inhaling the lodger’s fags smoke.
Mother and you would walk the length
of an invisible leash, straining beyond
the industrial bulk‘s alien lights and ash soiled sky
for your lost hop gardens and orchards….