Louise sings soul on Sundays

Louise sings soul on Sundays,
her notes seep under the door.
The lane is pooled with a false dawn
the robin is tricked into song.

The dogs pull dead things from gutters.
Snails creep up cracks in walls.
An old man scrapes a burnt plate,
his polished shoes wait in the hall.

Bats criss-cross the eaves of the care home,
its laundry hangs from a post.
A cat slips under a parked car
half scavenger, half ghost.

The kitchen boys share a joint
in the alley behind the pub.
A woman cries, rocking her belly,
on the edge of a chipped bathtub.

School girls drink vodka chasers,
hair washed in a cigarette haze,
as moonlight drops through the curtain
on Louise, singing soul,
on Sundays.

First published in Moor Poets Volume 3