Scratchy World

Just home from the hospital – newborn.
My mother sits my brothers on the sofa.
Eight and four years old.
She puts me in the arms of the elder.
“Sit here” she tells them.
“Don’t move”.

She has to go to the shop.
“Don’t move off the sofa” she says.
“Sit still and hold her tight”.
She locks the door.
She runs to the shop,
And back.

She pants up the stairs –
To find them playing,
And me, newborn, propped up
In the corner of the sofa,
Head lolling forward in front,
Newborn neck.

I wonder – if that’s when it began.
The first time I felt there was
No one to hold me,
No support to be had,
Just a scratchy world,
And me.