I follow her out of Dickens and Jones
on to cold Christmassy Oxford Street.
The back of her cuddly leopard print coat
is promising and her walk is brisk.
I break into a bright little trot to keep up,
my hand reaching for hers.
Her kind face turns, but now I see
I’ve got the wrong mummy.
I should have known,
mine wears the same looking coat
but the fur is real, a dead skinned big cat
brought back from Africa gloved to her back
not a cheery fake like the false mother.
Panic sets in, I so want the other
but she is definitely
the wrong mummy.
It’s well past my bedtime but
through my fingers I’m watching
an old black and while film on the box.
The archaeologist has dropped his spade;
he clutches this throat, staggers back,
as out she comes, trailing rags and rage,
there’s something familiar about the face
of the wrong mummy.