Spiky horsehairs, disguised by a patchwork
coverlet, prickle bare calves of the girl
who raced to perch between dad and grandma.
Her mother leans from an armchair to stroke
the boy’s head while he squirms on the rag rug,
whines to sit, instead, where his sister is.
Jane, says grandma – the girl stiffens
as everyone looks at her – please
fetch my crochet from the dining room.
Past the door, through the gap between hinges,
she sees brother, triumphant, beside dad; hears
grandma say, I thought that’d settle things.
The girl brings the crochet. She sits, quiet
on the rug. Rage rests in her diaphragm.
One day, she’ll breathe that out.
Lesley lives in Dorset. Her poetry has been published online, including Long Exposure and the Poetry Kit website, and in magazines and anthologies, including: Tears in the Fence, The Interpreter’s House, Sarasvati, Reach and The Butchers Dog.