Jack Frost has painted the road white.
You slide on the ice brilliant
in the winter sunshine.
The sky is a deep frozen blue,
breath taking in its clarity.
I think of how at 6am you were
giggling and giggling in your sleep
then announced, clear as a bell,
‘that was funny.’ Your eyes shut tight.
I will never know what dreams
you have that make you laugh
but your happiness is a hot water bottle
I clutch in the night when my own darkness
is filled with missed stops, glimpses of
my mother’s ghost, the lost words of anxiety.
The boiler is broken and the cold
seeps into the bricks so that
the house creaks with uncertainty.
But you are snuggled in the bed
beside me, a special treat that says
this morning will be beautiful and warm.
Benign is a word I could bathe in
as you pour your baby bubbles
under the hot tap pretending
they are aliens from outer space
that need to be popped. It’s hard
to measure the enemy within.
You fight battles with Daleks and Cybermen,
Zygons gone bad, a large cuddly toy dog
called Davros, and tell me we need to hide
in your cardboard box TARDIS.
It never fails to surprise me
that it’s bigger on the inside.
The bathtub a spaceship on its way
to Galafrey, the peace of radiated pyjamas,
a bottle of warm milk, a scary story
about slaying dragons. These small victories
of bedtime are as beautiful as your sleeping face.
Such perfect little boy dreams.
I am flooded with relief that for the moment
we are safe, safe from the surgical mutations
of scars that show strange creatures
that are part of me and yet not me.
It is not a war no matter what they say
but then again nor is it just a game.