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We Get Up at Four

Judy Brown

We get up at four, sticky from sleep,

                                    so Colin can get to the market.

When he has gone, I realise it’s raining.

The tube of indigo watercolour is almost empty

which shows how bad the weather has been this summer.


At Waterloo Station, the platform indicators flap and ruffle.

Trains leave and arrive. At home, email piles up silently

like snow. In town it’s so hot, the smell of waffles

                                    fills every crevice.

Storms can sour milk, but ours is always cool and sweet.


Colin comes back, his yellow fleece soaked. He strides up

                                    and down the lounge,

electricity clicking like silver castanets from his fingers.

My paperbacks rustle as he goes by. Soon it will be Autumn.

We go to bed at nine, diving into sleep in half-light,

                                    so Colin can get to the market.


From The Rialto No 66 (Spring 2009)