The phone burrs in the bedroom
barely there above the clatter of bins

the throaty caw of pied whites
nursing their squab in our chimney.

I press the handset to my ear.
An eggshell frost on the skylight

mutes the morning’s rash of blue
and seeps inside the sill.

I bury my head in your chest.
You ask and I tell in ruptured words

reluctant to give the news breath.
In the kitchen our son eats Frosties

pulls on muddied school shoes
his new coat, and calls out, I’m ready.


Angelina Ayers