The poem starts of with describing Shire's father having walked out on their family and her pleas for him to 'walk backwards' into their lives. She describes the abuse that she faces from her step-father, "blood run back up my nose" and how this has led to her family's deterioration. Her mother is also subject to abuse from the step-father, and it is suggested that this may have caused her to lose another child, "maybe she keeps the baby". Shire's last lines in the first stanza express how her father's return will allow them to "rewrite this whole life."
The second stanza contains the same lines as the first but written in the opposite direction, in order to emphasize the father walking back into their lives and restoring the happiness.