when you pushed your green plastic wheelbarrow
out of the door
in protest at the new baby
and marched off down the street
and right round the corner,
I didn’t realise at first.
A woman had found you
and had a hold of you
by the time I flew up there,
clutching a nappy
and an astonished newborn.
I had a baby last week
I think he’s upset.
Age 2, you said:
I’m not upset. I’m just leaving you.
The woman let you go and still you wouldn’t
come back to me.
I called your bluff and walked back down the street
without a backward glance,
heart breaking & pride shattered,
giving you space to follow.
A risky strategy.
That was your first leaving.
A mind like yours
does not come along often
the responsibility of it
has always been heavy.
I taught you to read before you were three,
allowed you to take apart the hoover
and answered questions
on metaphysics & microwaves
before I even woke up.
The time you threw all the shoes
at the door
in a rage
because I could not remember
Einsteins’ theory of relativity
That was your second leaving.
There were countless others.
You left us all behind so quickly.
I don’t know where you are in London
what you are doing
and with whom.
I don’t know when you will be getting home
and via which kebab shop,
and you are not answering your phone.
I don’t know whether to go to sleep not knowing.
Or whether I should call your bluff
and walk down the street without a backward glance
Hoping that one day you will come back to me.