My grandmother knew the opening scrape
of her front gate was not a friend,
told us she remembered staying perfectly still,
his hard steps crunching through her.
She didn’t remember his face,
how long he stood in her kitchen,
what lies or truths she uttered
while my infant aunt gurgled in her cot.
She did remember his words:
I have a little girl like this at home, myself.
For sixty-three years she stepped over
the spot on her flagged floor
where the Black and Tan had stood.