by Robin Houghton

scrabble       I explain the rules again
in no particular order       no need for logic

I lay a blank tile       tell her it’s a D       five minutes
noises in the corridor       she asks about tea

I say       that nice young man from the kitchen
will be here soon       let’s listen out

she asks       is it my go       asks       about the blank
I tell her it’s a D       her face       a perfect dot-dot-dot

you used to type sixty words a minute, do you remember?
she laughs       as if I’ve said something hilarious       as if

it were only yesterday she was there in the typing pool
and I was there too, walking home with her

meeting friends, making plans for the pictures       as if
her Mum and Dad and       Aunt Kit and       Bill and       baby Maya

and everyone were all here       now       waiting for their tea
she asks       about the blank I tell her