The living room remembers gran dancing to Count Basie. The kitchen can still hear my aunts fighting on Christmas day. The hall is worried about the loose banister. The small room is troubled by the missing hamster. The toilet particularly dislikes my grandfather. The wallpaper covers up for the whole family. And No.115 dreams of lovely houses by the sea. And No.115 dreams of one night in the country. The stairs are keeping schtum about the broken window. The toilet’s sick of the trapped pipes squealing so. The walls aren’t thick enough for all the screaming. My parent’s bedroom has a bed in a choppy sea. My own bedroom loves the bones of me. My brother’s bedroom needs a different boy. And No.115 dreams of yellow light, an attic room. And No.115 dreams of a chimney, a new red roof. And the red roof dreams of robin redbreasts tap dancing on the red dance floor in the open air.
Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults (The Adoption Papers won the Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award) and several for children. She was awarded an MBE in 2006.Read more about this poet