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. Hometime.