Roger Federer came to my bed last night
           and said he was in love with me.
But you were once the world’s number one tennis player,
           I said.
He shrugged, modestly:
           there was a play on at the West Yorkshire Playhouse
           he wanted to take me to.
I told him I could get free tickets
           and surrendered to his embrace
           though I was bit worried
           what you would think.

Then—horror—I heard the front door go
           and you called up the stairs
           in that eager, sweet way of yours
           and Roger shot out of bed
           and put on his headband
           and one of the turquoise tee-shirts he wore
           to beat Andy Murray in the 2010 Australian Open.

I stayed put: I knew the game was up.
And Roger was cool
And Roger was hot
And Roger was willing to take me away
           from our terraced house
           with the problem chimney
           and the low mains pressure
           and all your failings
           and maybe some of my own.
But as the bedroom door flew open
           all I had were questions
           it was now too late to ask.

Will you let the dog up on the bed, Roger?
Will you make an effort to get on with my Dad?
When I wake in the night, frightened,
Will you make tea and talk to me?
And when I dream of Rafael Nadal
          will you see the funny side?


Mandy Sutter



bird of paradise flower