I watched intently
As she unfurled the crisp
White cotton material
And strategically placed it
Over the wheel-backed
Wooden chairs.
I helped her peg it into place.
It had to hang correctly.
The chairs had to make
A perfect triangle.
We couldn’t wait to
Climb under – me and bear.
And so we’d enter
The cavern of possibilities.
Introducing books
With illustrations
That came alive inside.
Sometimes we were
In a castle –
With turrets that
Went on forever;
Surrounded by a moat –
The monster was too
Scared to cross…
Other times it was
A secret garden
With the sweetest
Smelling daisy’s
That smiled
And danced…
Whatever it became
I felt safe – cocooned
In the sanctuary
My Mum had created
Just for me…

One day I took notice
Of the noise box
In the corner of the room.
Mum was watching it –
She used to watch it
For hours.
This time she was crying.
A child had been found;
Dead.
Killed with a knife.
She was 5.
The same as me.

The inside of the
White cotton tent
Somehow lost its magic
That day
It didn’t feel safe any more…

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