Old Wives come in off the dark street, narrow alleyway, duck in under the smoking streetlight,
settle at her kitchen table, drink tea, smoke, stain their mouths with wine.
She says nothing, keeps pouring and the women keep coming, ducking through her narrow doorway, under the small light, gathering at her kitchen table to knock back tumblers, start on their inevitable ‘he’s a terrible man, terrible…’,
and the low-hanging light sways softly in the thick air, and she never lifts a finger,
and nothing, nothing ever changes – just this endless stream of wives-and-mothers gathering at her kitchen table to weep and smoke and whisper secrets,
ducking in from the narrow alleyway, coming in off the dark street to find her.
Charlotte Gann the poems