All week you kneel to scrape Play-Doh stains, aching back, in that

day’s grey cotton trackpants, picking up spilled blocks, dabbing piss puddles.

Come out of your house, take off the daggy trackies.

Daylight and compliments to make you smile will make your irises alive.

You’re up at dawn, rubbing eyes, sweeping from the pantry bottom green furry cornflakes gone rotten. Wiping toilet seats. Soaking up screams.

At playgroup you stoop to pick up puzzle pieces, nuzzle chubby cheeks,

gasbag with hags with the same handbag.

It’s no secret you lock the toilet door and weep.

Your tight cheeks bit by bit will droop if you

keep screaming at prams that won’t collapse,

if you survive on Happy Meal scraps.

Display your centrepiece. Surprise and exercise your thighs. Revive.

We worship you, we do, we guys, us other wives. Your body’s used

and stretched and strained but still you radiate. We know how your kids were made.

We guarantee your wedding ring slides off when slyly greased.

I come from behind, our fingers link, your warm hands wet from the sink

Let a stranger come in your chest. Aerate your flesh,

your folds, your secret pleats. Retreat

from early nights. Stay awake past nine, scull beers with me,

and Jäger bombs. Adult treats. Frolic. Stretch lips.

Drink tequila shots. Or not.

You promise, though I know you won’t. I live and dream,

talk measles jabs and daycare fees while tormentors paint the laptop screen with ice cream,

spill juice on the settee, shit their nappies, reek, scream, bleat.

Don’t apologise. Don’t wish you weren’t 35. We don’t have to be upstanding, we don’t need maturity. Admit this ain’t a playdate. Water your flower.

Come out of your house. Knock the castle down. Uncover the princess. Undress.