Talking with R, 4am – by Mike Farren


There’s only you and me
awake at four o’clock:
your dad is sleeping off
eleven cans of Stella;
your sister sleeps her teenage sleep;
God knows where your mother is…
so when you call, I answer.

I don’t know the heroes
and monsters in your books,
their powers or the battles
you ask me who would win,
so that a human voice
will keep them from your dreams,
so I talk about the books
I loved, when I was seven,

and you tell me how your mum
saw off your nightmares, saying
any monster threatening you
would get a punch from her.

And I know how strong she is:
stronger than convention;
stronger than expectation;
stronger than anyone
or anything, except
the demon that has hold
of her, and that no hero
from your book can overcome.





Mike Farren is an editor and freelance writer based near Bradford, West Yorkshire. His poems have appeared in The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Ink Sweat and Tears, Leads to Leeds and various anthologies.