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

New baby.

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.