He asks in a text.
“Well, this morning I woke in the room I know better than any other
washed out carpet, once a pastel blue, now a mix of ink and mud
patches that creak on tiptoes, ceramic knob that chinks
bold camelia in cut crystal hanging proud on the wall.
And, as I drew the curtains I looked out on a thousand daffodils
framing our loch, its royal swans and chipper ducks
a paddock filled with copper oaks and ancient beeches
and the canon, oh yes the canon, on the horizon.
I made a coffee and drank it from a mug, emblazoned
God Save Our Gracious Queen
sitting on a lumpy kitchen chair, warmed by the aga
Darcy, a greying border terrier, lying at my toes.
I ran the coastal path, seemingly the only one
thinking fondly of a Fifer’s appetite for Special Brew
jogged past oil rigs, a rusty railway
remembered Purdy, the first dog I’d taken on the trail.
Back at the house, Dad breakfasted on marmalade
leafed through his Torygraph, lamented election news
‘Crush the saboteurs’, announced a steely Teresa May
‘Morning, sir’, I said, ‘Hello tuppence’, he replied.
Later on, I sat with Mum, gave her a banana and juice
‘Are you going to marry the Muslim?’ she asked
‘I don’t know’, I said, ‘I don’t know’
‘Why’s that?’ she probed. And we talked.
Some time after, I took Darcy out and reflected
as I walked along paths made of tree trunks
past does and rhodedendrum
over cattle grids, bogs, gigantic ploughed fields.
Back in the garden, Dad and I pottered, silently
picked rhubarb and horseradish, clipped geraniums
while Mum looked on from the kitchen window
behind a fog of Benson and Hedges smoke.
Darling, I’m living hot milk laced with gold
too precious to share by text
you message, ‘How’s your day?’
days later I reply, ‘Just fine’.