She’s given up fixing the broken window pane
Instead she gets her three children to paint
the board covering it,
their chatter mingles with chart music
as she smokes in the yard, door open
so she can still watch them,
before the evening ritual of bath and bed
in clean linen and a story from
the youngest’s father, willing to adopt
the two that weren’t his.
Then she’ll close the curtains over the broken pane
and drift into the back room and TV,
which still won’t drown out
the eldest father’s drunken melody
as he arrives, demanding to see his son.
She tosses a coin: does she open the door
to a torrent of swearing and try and calm him
or does she phone the police, again?