It’s not that I don’t like the kids
just that I crave respite from the clutter and crash
of toy tractors and trains, trucks shunting
from one junction of the sitting-room to another.
It’s not that I don’t like you browsing
the web on your laptop, switching from gifts
for your family to documentaries about
bottled water, and breast ironing in Cameroon.
It’s not that I don’t want the outside world
and its ways of waking when we’d rather sleep,
though I resent the shriek of our alarm –
see, on TV alarms work with a civilised beep.
It’s not that I strive to be the all and everything
for thee, a Victor Meldrew type of axis mundi.
It’s that there is but one hour of opportunity
when the kids are asleep and we turn off the TV,
its animations and jerks shrunk to a tiny dot,
a flatline of noise and intrusion where all is still
and we can be who we are without satellites or cargo,
when the world stops, time and space bend at our will.
Alan Garvey’s third collection of poetry, Terror Háza, was published by Lapwing (Belfast) in 2009. His work is represented in various magazines and anthologies. He graduated with a MA in Creative Writing; has read in Toronto and Newfoundland and worked in Budapest, courtesy of the Irish Arts Council. He has worked as an arts administrator, part-time lecturer and creative writing tutor, and is a contributing editor to The Gloom Cupboard.