Ask for small commitments first, then, when the large requests come, they will find it impossible to say no.
Last week I cleared out boxes
loft-bound for the longest time.
I found cards and letters
from the days when we preferred them to email
when international phone calls were too expensive
for us scholarship students.
Too few of yours: proof that even then
you favoured silence as a method.
Sheet after sheet of colourful stationery
with my girly, high-pitched scrawl,
giggly, breathless, full of words
to reassure how free you were,
no demands at all.
How I played the game of reasonable
contrast to all those you’d loved before.
Not sensing all the while
the noose tightening around my neck.