Three poems by Martyn Crucefix

Good Dadhood

Empty the bath

Late and quiet with all my keys
for the door, I hope you’ve not
yet been laid in your cot,
but find in the bathroom
a tubful of water, empty, well-
used and barely lukewarm

 and to tell you the truth,
there’s the earth of my regret,
the little warmth the water
has, its tiny fractions
stolen from your playful heat

how it shows I’ve come too late
for the intimacy
of your straight-backed body
cut at the waist by cooling water,
those few gallons of sudsy wash
that cooled that much more slowly
for you being there

that now I let go, stir away
with both hands, think something
obvious, grasping what is gone. 

Nightmare

His first, its sudden grotesque
smashing up
through the trusted surface
of sleep, a scrabbling clutch
to be escaped from,
a tightening on leg and arm,
fastened to his vulnerable

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