Ann Gibson: Letting Myself Go

My daughter drives by on her way to work.
She worries that I’m lost without a job,
doesn’t like to see my curtains closed.

Arriving unannounced this afternoon
she caught me in my dressing gown, busy
loading laundry – no clean clothes.

She ran her eyes over my kitchen table
(refrained from following with her finger, though
I know she wanted to), then checked my fridge.

Like a petulant adolescent, I presented
evidence of order; texts from friends,
fireworks on Fitbit, groceries online.

Rattled, I lashed out, reminded her
she had 30 years till she was free
from timetabled tyranny; realised

I’d overstepped the mark
as I watched her wilt.