She feels so proud to be so under-nourished
and not to have her aunts all turning up
with little dogs on leads, and tartan rugs;
she feels so proud to be alone at home
like someone in a hangar after midnight
entrusted with the mothering of jets.
Athletic and chaste,
she plunges into the pool,
leaving the lodger
alone in the house with the dust
and nothing to shine on or do,
like a chandelier.
And when the lodger, on the second day,
asks her if she knows the work cock
and she looks ahead and simply starts walking,
steadying the word like an egg.
Because she knows he likes her curly hair
she goes to bed
in a dampened balaclava
like some old ship
that's never going to make it
rocking itself to sleep inside a shed.
The neighbours and their elderly Retrievers
get used to seeing someone sitting there,
sometimes dressed in nothing but a nightie,
fiercely spooning milk from a tin.