Popeyed Grandpa labours on
Sunday’s topside beef and spuds.
I count one, two … … seventy-five.
Lunch hauls heavy as a week.
Can I get down from table? Can I
skulk, freed from relations and school,
slide down the slope on my backside,
den deep among blood-brambles –
No, I must behave. No splash,
no spill, wash the willow bowls,
wipe the forks, knives, plates,
use that cloth only for glasses.
Robins drive away strangers.
The one on the sill stares,
then peck-pecks at bacon rind.
Hear, I don’t belong inside.
Watch L Kiew read ‘Exeat’ here
A Chinese-Malaysian living in London, L Kiew earns her living as an accountant. Her debut pamphlet The Unquiet came out with Offord Road Books in February 2019. She is currently a participant in the London Library Emerging Writers Programme.