I woke up to darkness. Clocks have sprung
and the rain gives chase; a million billion Slender Mans.
A mistake on the paper round and eldest is angry at himself
and the world. The car coughs, cold, cut off.
Just me and eldest, the streets to ourselves on a Monday morning.
The wipers’ slow smudge of lowering grey.
Drive on for warmth, the engine, eldest and me,
to see what we might see.
By the afternoon it’s cold, winter’s fingers drip and paw
like the bare branches of the willow in a corner of the cemetery.
I take youngest; we’re on our bikes, past the chapel,
the first avenue of graves.
At the back new pathways and plots reach to the crematorium.
The pathways are empty. Cycle around, our orbit brings
us close to smaller stones, bright and colourful, Superman
and Sponge Bob. Youngest slows, turns his head.
How do children die? he said.