Night Visitors

We come when the moon looks away,
when cats crouch unblinking under cars
and we know they won’t talk, or care,
when people are watching TV, as the street
claims a moment of peace. You might hear
a noise outside, something closing, a cough.

Ours is a private ambulance, half parked
in your blindspot, on yellow lines, we are
too busy to be noticed, in our black suits
and soft soled shoes. First the knock, then in
with our bag, upstairs through the murmuring
white faces, offers of tea. We come for Joan.

Everyone’s glad she was here, at least
in her own bed, even dried out like this,
a broken bird. Our work is gentle, discreet.
Just when you look away, we leave.
Don’t trouble yourself about Joan, or us –
we’ll do the same for you, one day.

*Robin Houghton has had work in The Rialto, The North, Iota, Agenda and other magazines. She is a a copywriter and internet marketer and is based in Lewes, East Sussex. Her poetry & photo blog is at