Back from distant galaxies,
taxi lights retreating,
lean, familiar bodies shoot into the hall,
heaving four weeks laundry across my doorstep.
Familiar, loved, yet strangely different.
Sitting on the table,
eating the Christmas cashews,
exploring the stuffed fridge.
Flickers of excitement light their faces,
with news to share,
new confidence flaring in old voices.
Blazing up the shrunken stairs
to check on boyhood rooms,
raiding the well-stocked shower;
high mountains of wet towels.
And the knife chops,
eager to fill leanness with wholesome,
after weeks of own-brand beans.
Watching them launch at the pie;
the peas they used to spurn devoured with delight.
Safe in the orbit of my universe till
they blast away to new constellations.