Behind mum’s feet



I’m trailing home behind mum’s feet,

A surly hamster with cotton wool cheeks,

Blood blossoming, face numb,

Metallic taste on anaesthetised tongue.


I have been all too good

And brushed as hard as a good girl should.

I’ve kept too many to fit my face,

Earning four teeth pulled and a lovely brace.


One, two, three, four, out they all came,

The bone-crack splinter-shriek engraved on my brain.

The feet ahead slow, and mum turns to her child:

“Now come along Caroline, you could at least smile.”