If this flat were the one and the chain held
and if we fell for ‘String’ by Farrow & Ball –
or ‘Cat’s Paw’, ‘Joa’s White’ or whatever it’s called –
would we strip the ceiling rose and walls,
sweep up dead scraps in a cloud of distemper,
prop coffee cups and lean on ladders feeling
pride in our sense of authenticity, moreover
if you popped the lids off tins revealing
the perfect shade of beige to answer prayers
and if I asked with which hand would you hold
the roller, would you mime the action, pause
to admire this period apartment we’d been sold,
then, changing sides, consider which was best
in mirror-image before pronouncing ‘left’?



Robin Houghton is a communications consultant, trainer and writer. Her work has appeared in many magazines including The Rialto, Agenda, The North, Iota, Poetry News, Mslexia and Ink, Sweat & Tears. She blogs at http://www.poetgal.co.uk