Ben Banyard

Think of the Children

I slide a photo of my children
across the pub table.

We decided early on in our relationship
that we didn’t want children.

Well-dressed couple, expensive hair.
They don’t look tired.

Children are such a financial commitment.
Nursery places, childminders, all that equipment.

We have a garage full of old strollers,
dismantled cots, baby walkers, high chairs.

We’re both very ambitious and career-driven.
I don’t think there’s ever a right time for kids.

Sometimes the phone rings at work
and there’s been an accident at nursery.

We like to go on quite energetic holidays;
you couldn’t take a pushchair trekking the Andes.

I spend fortnights splashing in the pool
eating and drinking all-inclusively.

No, we’re quite happy, just the two of us.
The house feels empty when I’m on my own.

I notice she’s still studying that photo.

Ben grew up in Solihull/Birmingham but moved first to Exmouth (Plymouth University’s old Rolle College campus – sadly now defunct) and then on to Bristol with his now-wife Natalie before finally settling in Portishead with their twins, Daisy and Jack.