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The Wrong Setting 

this afternoon  
you cut my hair 
i sit on a kitchen chair 
in the living room 
watching tv  
you work and ask 
are these the right clippers 
i watch the screen 
yes i’m sure 
there’s a lot coming off 

you’ve been my hairdresser  
for most of this year 
it was strange at first 
but we're used to it now  
complacent even 
i can almost see your scalp 
you say  
mildly concerned 

it's the wrong setting 
i’m not keen 
you seem alarmed 
it’s ok keep going 
can’t stop now 
it’ll be fine 
i like it short 
you know i do 
we agree 
it won’t need doing again 
any time soon


six weeks since you left 

and closed your front door 

for the last time 

leaving home comforts 

and me behind 

been hard to see you lately 

haven’t even waved at you 

through a pane of glass 

the pain scars me 


carers helped with facetime 

panned your room so i've seen it 

but i haven’t 'seen' it 

facetime whose face 

you had no idea who i was 

you couldn’t hear me. 

you couldn’t seem to see me 

i called you mum but mum 

who did you think i was 


twice a week 

i collect and return your laundry 

washed ironed 

folded with love 

my lasting connection with you 

what are you wearing today 

what did you wear yesterday 

what will you wear tomorrow 

i don't help you choose anymore 


maybe next week they say 

hope is taking its toll 

are you happy 

do you think about me 

i’m not happy 

i’m not happy at all 

tears don’t change a thing 

but they come