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.