Thursday, 15 February 2018


Most stretched afternoons we are sat
(don’t judge my grammar erroneous
because I mean someone sits us)
in front of Flog It, Homes under the Hammer,
and, particularly cruel for those of us
with months, not years, Countdown.

Tepid tea is served from a trolley
forgotten in a corridor while Elsie Brown
was rescued, trembling, from the lift.
A woman with a headmistress bark
speeds us through Bingo and crosswords
as though afraid she left her iron on.

Today, Prudence says, ‘Is that a baby’s cry?’
and the headmistress is left with 3 Down,
14 Across, and an ego like crushed fruit.
Double buggies arrive as if cavalry.
Dennis sings Old Macdonald to a toddler
in a rich bass unused since he buried Eileen.

© Fran Hill

Fran Hill is a writer and English teacher based in Warwickshire, UK.