That rite of passage of the middle class –
chauffeuring offspring to the varsity –
took us the breadth of England, from Hoole to Hull.
Extending her childhood, our parenthood
or both, we travelled the edge of hope
and longing, by acres of burning stubble
and slagheaps greening. In the rearview mirror,
she leant forward to gossip about
the future…When she was eight, we’d planted
her cherry tree, knowing she would one day
climb up it and out of sight. We watched it
blossom in her absence.