many a five a.m. kitchen
has seen the descent of sleepless feet
the routine of a boiled kettle
salvation in hot tea

my mother’s kitchen,
no exception
a steady space where we have come
over the years in seek of comfort
escape from toss and turn

alone, held up by wooden worktops
soothed by hums and ticks and whirs
aware – or not – of the sounds of silence
the birds nudging in the dawn;

with others, as night nurses
babies teething, ghoulish dreams
pacing, rocking, calling doctors
calpol, and more tea;

with partners
when you or they are broken
or bent, by bastard life;

and for those conversations
of revelation
mend or maul,
make wrong or right.