The click of needles, lapping, overlapping

With the ticking of the clock.

A fresh scrubbed child, tugging

At a rag-doll’s torn frock.


The banked-up fire, slack and coke

Breathing warmth across the room.


Mantles glowing, left and right

Cast light into the gloom.


A blackened kettle bubbling

Lid lifting on the ring.


Enameled bowl, awaiting

With red soap on the rim.


A place still set for dinner

Plate-topped, overdue


All waiting for the footfall

Of a hobnailed wooden shoe.


The double-tap upon the door

The lifting of the latch


A weary smile, the wistful eyes

The doffing of a cap.



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