I picked him up
He was following my gaze
Not old enough for toothbrush or bed. A cot
Was all we had. The tooth we knew
Was what grieved him, not
Any wicked intent. But
I let him have it.
Shook him, shook him, swore
In his face. Unnerved, I dropped him.
I leant across. Saw him dribble. Saw me in his eyes.
Saw him earlier, bouncing, eyes alive.
We were an age apart
But we were, are, the same flesh.
I’ve never felt anything like
His fingers, hanging on my hair.
He is inert, his hair is fair -
I remember thinking
Social services will soon be here.