There was a room
looking out on a hilly street with no trees,
on the first floor of a dilapidated Victorian house.
Big room, tiny kitchen, shared bathroom.
Coin feed meter on the landing.
I thought - white, pretty curtains,
square table with a cloth and two chairs in the bay.
A bed that could double as a couch.
Pictures on the wall.
A vase of flowers.
mattress on the floor,
chocolate brown walls, uneven and patchy,
the old dirty curtains left at the windows,
tv on the floor, everything on the floor.
Chaotic. I should have run.
But I stayed.
Paddy and John throwing stones at the window at 3am.
Getting up early to cycle to school.
Arriving with a birthday cake with thirty candles.
Making it home. Familiar chaos.
Slipping into it without thought.