The snakes in the Smiths’ hair see the problem:
Those childlike things have always been hungry.
Those things that look like children; raised by wolves
to drink and smoke and thieve.
Those knives in the Smiths’ sides.
John knows the price of potatoes.
John knows to scrump for apples.
John knows the cost of a sack of oats.
A cyclops inside him, surrounded by wires, a CPU,
a motherboard. Huge, motherless fingers
twist and pull at his insides, drive him to
call forth furies on cubs and their bitches. John
knows the footballer’s money goes
to dealers and whores.
Jane knows that it goes on fags, booze and
Jane knows that they’re not really real.
Jane knows characters from ancient books, and
Janes sees the copies, like the brown Cratchits
Jane saw in Grenfell.
The Smiths know these proles have TVs and consoles.
The Smiths know of jealous wishes and satellite dishes.
The Smiths know they keep hungry dogs and
at Christmas they dare to gather around chocolate logs.
But the Smiths know they can’t possibly have taste.
Just a candle in a cave, a den for wolves.
A pot of potatoes and peas, burgers and baked beans,
a prohibitive, a pejorative life. Troglodytes and parasites,
afraid of civilisation’s lights.
The Smiths see them alone, see no causes, save
some sense of sin.
There are no snakes in their hair.