Just let her go. She’s nearly ten. The park
Is hardly dangerous. They need to know
That they can manage on their own now. Show
Her that you trust her. Look, it isn’t dark
OK, I say. Impart a phone,
Advice, a watch. I push it with a hat.
She looks affronted. Scornful. Don’t need that,
She says, and strikes out, smiling, on her own.
Then Truth and Fear walk in and take my hand.
It’s not for her, but you, you understand
That don’t you? Sorry about him, Truth says.
I nod and put the kettle on. The old
Clock slows, counts minutes, seconds out as days.
We sit and wait, and watch our tea grow cold.