Eve Chancellor – Home Sweet Home

This is the kitchen, the estate agent said.
This is where you will have breakfast together
at the weekends. Scrambled eggs
just the way you like,
with a knob of butter,
the toast almost burnt.
She will tell you she enjoys cooking here
more than at the old house,
now that she has a nice view out
over the garden.

During the week,
this table will get used for letters and bills.
It is where you will sit every evening,
after you start your new job.

When your son gets into university,
you will talk about it here:
what day you are driving him up to
Sheffield, how much he should pack,
while she mentally sets aside pots and pans.

Next, your kitchenware will become compartmentalised
into boxes: knives and forks
wrapped up in tea-towels,
the non-stick saucepan from the collection
at John Lewis (the one you will say
is too good to give him);
you will argue about it here,
in front of the window,
where she used to enjoy looking out
over the garden,
clutter pooling at your feet.

Later, when she wraps her arms around you
to apologise, you will freeze
in the middle of washing up-

Yes, I can just picture us here, she said,
already hanging up their wedding photos.
The husband slipped out his wallet and said,
We’ll take it.

‘Home Sweet Home’ by Eve Chancellor was highly commended in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (October 2021) judged by Rachel Long.

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