Signs by Stephanie Ellam

Mummy gave me the bloody finger paints today
and I painted my heart red. The kind of red that makes your tongue melt
so you can’t make words.

Daddy wore crimson overalls in his white bedroom
he takes up lots of space
and when he’s angry the furniture comes crashing down
we change each house to make it a home but when its our home we have to run
I ask why we leave but mummy doesn’t say
daddy doesn’t see the secret I wrapped around his ankle
my bloody finger paints are drying but they don’t crack on daddy
my hands made my heart on his ankle
and he is walking away like it is his

I put his lunch in a superman lunch box which was his favourite colour
and it was still on the side at 5.00am when he was gone.
and daddy doesn’t eat today so mummy doesn’t eat today
mummy doesn’t feel okay but she is painting
daddy says to paint lots of layers to hide the mistakes
mummy tucks me to bed beneath three layers of blankets.