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Guernsey Literary Festival

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Supported by

Guernsey Arts

Martine Padwell, London

Poems on the Buses Exhibition

The Nightie I
keep at my Mother’s House

Mother and baby ducks waddle across
this cotton nightie, the colour of milk.
I sleep in it four, maybe five, times a year.
Front-fastening buttons, a neat little row,
still work but aren’t needed. Those 4 a.m. feeds
were nearly a quarter of a century ago.
Somewhere between then and now, I lost
the athlete I was. Now I can’t run.
My son limps from a soccer scar
and frets about receding hair,
while Mum is fearful on the stairs
and can’t remember the word for mouse.
The nightie holds me, soft, un-frayed,
in much better nick than the three of us.