Sitting on a window sill, swinging
her heels against the wall as the gymslips
circled round and Elvis sang Blue Moon,
she never thought one day to see her daughter,
barelegged, sitting crosslegged on saddlebags
that served as sofas, pulling on an ankle
as she nodded sagely, smiling, not denying:
you’ll never catch me dancing to the same old tunes;
while her brother, strewed along a Futon,
grappled with his Sinclair, setting up
a programme we had asked him to. Tomorrow
he would teach us how to use it, but for now
he lay intent, aloof, peripheral
in its cold white glare as we went up to our rooms:
rooms we once exchanged, like trust, or guilt,
each knowing hers would serve the other better
while the other’s, at least for now, would do.
The house is going on the market soon.
My son needs higher ceilings; and my daughter
sky for her own Blue Moon. You can’t blame her.
No woman wants to dance in her Mum’s old room.
From The North No 10 (1991)