Thursday, 15 March 2018

A poem by Marg Roberts

Role reversal

or what I wish had happened when dad nearly missed the train to visit Grandma…

Wouldn’t it have been grand, Mum
if it had been you, in your fawn coat
hat like a squashed cushion
who had jumped, at the very last minute
into the carriage to join us
five tickets waved aloft

wouldn’t it have been fair
if, just once, Dad had nursed
my baby sister on his lap
her snot dribbling down his jacket
his stomach clenched from waiting
his hand swotting my other sister
he had picked and wrapped in newspaper for Grandma
while I chanted, she’s gonna’ miss it
miss, miss, miss it
and the engine chuffed steam
clouding the platform and his mood

and what if
instead of you muffling the thought:
how unreasonable of you, my husband
to leave the house ten minutes after
his family, so having struggled with the baby
a toddler and a little girl uphill
to the railway station, Mum,
you’d let him have it
full on

if it had been you who pulled the communication cord
because the guard, an old man
was left standing on the platform
and when he leapt into our carriage
with his flag
it had been you, he’d thanked and shaken by the hand

wouldn’t that have been grand?

Biography: I am a poet and fiction writer. My poetry has been published in magazines (Orbis, Reach, Cannon’s Mouth) and on-line (Ink sweat and tears, Algebra of Owls). My first novel was published by Cinnamon Press in October 2016. I have an MA in creative writing. I love reading and writing. My website:

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