At first it was Friedrich, his gawky blondeness,
his penchant for biting his sisters’ fingers.
Then Rolf before the Nazis turned him, spinning me
round the summerhouse in the rain.
Now I’m older than Captain Von Trapp.
When he sings for me, his eyes are the blue
of that mountain lake his children fell into
wearing their curtain clothes and laughing.
He does that half-smile because he’d rather not
strum his guitar but he knows I like it.
When I unbutton the stiff woollen jacket
he smells delicious, of edelweiss and schnitzel.
I take his hand, lead him up the swooning staircase
Joanna Ingham lives in Suffolk and writes poetry and fiction. She has two pamphlets: Naming Bones (ignitionpress, 2019) and Ovarium (The Emma Press, forthcoming in June 2022). Her first full collection was shortlisted in Live Canon’s 2021 Collection Competition. Website: www.joannaingham.com Twitter: @ingham_joanna