Grandma says she knew
from how we left too fast
when he called to pick us up on Saturdays.
Mummy would scuttle through the flat like a cockroach,
packing freshly baked cookies still
cooling on the dining table and
snatching cheap toys still strewn across the carpet.
We knew that we could not be late,
could not leave him waiting like a man who waits.
I don’t remember his voice,
the accusatory tones and
silencing shout through the car.
I remember hers.
The nervous whine and cry.
I remember the way she would watch him
out of the corner of her eye
like a creature trapped.
People are less humane
than the most afraid animals.