Scottish poet, Pippa Little
I WAS SO OLD WHEN I WAS NOT A WOMAN
People thought my father drank: he never said
it was my mother
who stuck like moss to dark places.
She gives us wipes for the train
to wash away the sticky fingerprints of strangers.
We descend from Ward 4 in a dark box
without him. Street level
says the final sign.
He is a crane-fly, hurt
and folded. He forgets
he once walked like other fathers.
I can make him strong,
afraid of nothing. That’s not true.