Oil in the Gutter

by Peter Cashmore

He knows more than they think,

As the rust tricycle harries

The grey-evening puddles.


Slut. Bitch. Whore.


Why always in the kitchen,

Where the fierce strip light

Shies drawn out spectres?


She by the sink,

Pretending to wash up;

He by the stove, probing

Until she turns.


Why always

Yell, murmur, yell,


Despite the pitter-patter rain?

While a TV set hums next door,

Its light a brilliant blue.


And always, if you strain,

The swish of a car up on the road –

The promise of something else but this.