Home

Conceived in Bristol, cupped and folded tight
Within the bindle of my mother's womb
From King’s Cross laundries to Southampton mists
I had a dozen homes before my birth

My father had a way of breaking locks
Turned boarded hollows into border homes
Called squats; my first bed illegitimate
Was a papoose of snug and tattered furs

I bless Idi Amin. I do, I do
He must have know his rampage would dispatch
Some refugees to England, and one day
They'd see my mother when she needed help
And feed us

My mother always kept a paper roll
To be unscrolled and pinned above the cot
A picture for me, rooting all the homes
That like stage-flats unslotted and upswung

From home to home, fleeing then fled then up
All night fear-primed to rise and fly again
On bailiff's knock and magistrate’s decree
They carried with them all they would escape

Long-postponed, much feared, much wished recoiling
Of the life-thread; one call, 'may we stay?'
That homecoming was laden with a child
An undeclared new child, disruptive me

My mother’s clan: the priest ajared his door
He had to, blood calls stronger than the Book
My father sulked, mocked Churchill, dropped a tab
My name: disputed even at the font