Green Lanes groaned in the July heat
cars choked on each other’s fumes
rows of fermenting fruit and veg sweated
it out on street stalls, between the buzz
of flies and tetchy wasps. I carried
you from the taxi in gleaming white
over the cracked tiles, into the cool
hallway of your new home. That night
I couldn’t sleep. I sat instead on the futon edge
watched your tiny limbs twitch in your cot
and listened to the soft chirp of your breath.
Getting up for a glass of water, I pulled on
the kitchen light. A dozen startled cockroaches
like a band of dark knights, scuttled into corners,
chitinous armour chinking spite. I bolted
to the bedroom, lifted the corner of the bed
and saw, under the dark warmth of the mattress,
a monstrous mass of squirming black.
Jane Salmons is a teacher living and working in the Black Country. She is currently studying for an MA in Creative Writing and has been previously published in Snakeskin, I am not a Silent Poet and Creative Writing Ink. In her precious free time, she also enjoys creating hand-made photomontage and is to have artwork and poetry published together in Ink, Sweat and Tears in the near future.