When it’s all over, I’ll go to Thailand
I will walk down Soi Suanplu 8, again, in the early morning,
when the tuk tuk drivers are eating and laughing over their rice bowls.
My granddaughter will be wearing a dress printed with forget-me-nots,
I’ll wear my long shorts and old red flip-flops.
We’ll wander through the scent of frangipani and fried egg
and examine every bright flower in the pavement cracks,
notice stones and insects, puzzle over the water drains.
I will hold her hand as we look at the carp in the hotel pool
and nod to the three-legged dog outside 7 Eleven.
When we reach the banana lady’s stall, she’ll be there
shining in her wrinkles, she will call “Sawasdee kaa, hallo”,
to Lyla, who will be shy and cling to my bare leg.
Then she will choose a small, perfectly cooled,
grilled banana and place it on my baby girl’s golden palm.
And I will bow and say thank you.
Catherine Baker has been published by Stand, Snakeskin and Amaryllis. She was highly commended in The Prole Poet Laureate competition in April 2020. She has poems in anthologies such as Poetry from Gloucestershire and Ways to Peace. She was runner up in GWN poetry competition, 2018, the poem was read at the Cheltenham Literary Festival.