HAND-IN-HAND UP OLD SCHOOL ROAD

They talk of Tilly, Tom, and Tiny, Silly Donkey and Furry Boo, make peacock sounds that turn the heads of grinning kids and school-run mothers, this kiss goodbye leaving snot on his cheek, and then back home he’s cleaning up, one for the dog bring the cardboard in, small enough to fit through the door, big enough to make her day, with stanley knife and duck tape, Carling and quick dry paint, this red door for a Secret House, sat drying out and waiting... one more... fetches her back from school, hand-in-hand down the road and if Furry Boo really is a dog how the... does he get up onto the roof?

Look Scarlett! he says, pushing back her bedroom door, where lies a dad-made Secret House, that leaves her gob-smacked and grabbing her three rag-doll Tots from the bed, moving in to that smaller inside, pretend, have a tea party, have pop, have dancing, have games, have the sandwiches flying, have Tom falling over, have Tilly helping Tom to bed, have Tiny being sick, have Tilly cleaning it up,  enough, have your covers, have your story, have your kiss, have your sleep, have the walls pressing in, light shaking two doorways, downstairs a sound like dad but not.