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Blue Moon

Mimi Khalvati

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)