Owen Gallagher


Another taxing night in the House of Commons.
I sweep up crumpled papers,
wipe sweat and dust from benches,
apply vinegar to stubborn stains.
Hunched in the Prime Minister's place
I rehearse how I'll inform my wife of my redundancy.
Tick, tick, tick, goes the clock.

My knuckles turn white at the Dispatch Box.
I rage against a world that deprives people of work.
I think to plant a device which is timed.
Rise to unblock loos, wipe graffiti from stalls,
cycle to lie beside my restless wife.
Tick, tick, tick, goes the bomb.

Owen Gallagher is a primary teacher in Southall, London.
His last poetry collection was Sat Guru Snowman, Peterloo Poets.

(author retains copyright)