Two Poems by Elisabeth Sennitt Clough


Every village has them. Some appear overnight
and none of them have spray-painted signs
or battered warning triangles next to them.

Though their ambitions are shallow,
some potholes leave openings
wide enough to swallow you.

You try to ignore them, but they pull you in
and though at first you call out,
your cries for help can go the length of a village
and no one will hear them anyway.
Nocturne with Petrol and Rain

In spring, they lean from windows
late at night, inhale the fumes

from the lone fuel-station.
The alloy of petrol and rain

transforms the forecourt
into a mirage of rainbows.

These are the girls who breathe in
the roads they haven’t yet taken,

as if their lungs weren’t filled with exhaust,
but butterflies.
Elisabeth Sennitt Clough is the author of Glass, Sightings, and At or Below Sea Level. She is founding editor of the Fenland Poetry Journal. Twitter @LizSennitt