by Julia Webb

In the dark Webby Webster hears Ma and Pa
splitting the night open with saw-tooth words,
and up creaks the stink of something brewing,
something she sees when she sneaks downstairs,

bubbling in its giant plastic bucket,
waiting to go in the brown barrel with the leaky tap.
When he forgets to hang the yoghurt pot
under the tap Pa does an angry little dance.

Webby Webster hotfoots it up the stairs and bangs
her bedroom door, she lays between the jaffa-orange walls
and prays for the star-people (the ones that crocheted
the sky) to come to her window and take her back.

The streetlight casts long shadows on her walls,
but though she pokes her head up beneath the net curtain
the flat roof outside stays resolutely empty.  
She hears someone stamping up the stairs.