When the phone rang
I was eating soup
Scotch broth which my mum had made
For me to serve the family
In her absence.
My mum was young enough to have a baby
But old enough that it was
A subject that provoked amusement.
‘They are still doing it and it still works!’
I did not know how to feel about this
A half baby. My mother’s child
But not my dad’s.
But as the baby grew in my mum
A small secret excitement, germinated.
So when the phone rang
My stepdad answered
And the words floated through
Hospital, overnight, the baby is dead.
He returned to the table
And wordlessly continued with dinner.
And I too picked up my spoon.
And silently ate my soup.