My Nan’s houses
The kitchen was always in winter—its pantry
full of shadows, odours washed in damp soil
and bagged in the fields, picked-at,
white boned carcasses draped
in tea towels set aside to rest.
Its thin air wafted a sweetness that drizzled
on cooling cakes and offered a promise of fresh
The worn down work tops cut away to hands
that rolled out pastry, and set liquid jelly
outside to cool in the drifting snow.
A bottomless Belfast sink bubbled above
a makeshift step, positioned to deploy child-
labour onto chores.
Its walls gleamed with fired green tiles crafted
flat, almost without seams. Stood in the doorway
between two poems, a child looked along their
mirrored finish, cast a spell—one arm one leg,
the words said, his body lifted off the ground.