Someone should be. Someone should be
Walking through the door with a heavy tray,
Steam rising from scones like puffball clouds
Golden and swollen, light as fluff, jam
Glowing ruby, warm as mother’s blood,
Primrose-cool butter waiting calmly
To spread and melt. And Marshall, he
Should be slouching on a suburb sofa
Which has seen better days and sticky
Fingers, and he should spring erect
At the scent of new baking as flour, fat,
Sugar make their music, and she
Will say, casually swiping his feet
In their box-fresh fuck-off trainers
Off the coffee table with a hand
Trained by years of nose-wiping,
‘Now now, Marshall!’ as she lets
The tray land like a spacecraft
Bringing peace to earth. Not me,
Even though my heavenly scones
Could save him, free him to sing
Of something more than money
And how crap his childhood was.
I’ve been there, done that
With the mothering, the Be-Ro
And the Stork. Still doing it. Still
Having different ideas about muscular
Younger men on sofas, even Slim
With his antimacassar of tattoos,
Though butter and jam could still be
Involved. Not me, then.
But someone should be.
Valerie Laws is a novelist, poet, playwright and performer.