On the long sip of a train journey,
he has hidden twelve pink cherubs
in the body. When he breathes out,
I hear them,
impotent and wailing
as laboratory mice. Speak English,
children. For my sake, please.
When he breathes in, they scream.
Please be more gentle with your breathing,
as I am with mine.
Their heads bulge beneath his skin
in gentle undulations. Two have burrowed
in his jowl for comfort. I am not their mother.
Not a chance.
When he breathes again, the train roars and I go:
Quiet. Quiet! Christsake, Sam. I want to get off.
Sarah Fletcher’s debut poetry collection, “Plus Ultra”, will be published in April by Cheerio
[See also: The NS Poem: Cicadas]
This article appears in the 04 Jan 2023 issue of the New Statesman, Sunak Under Siege