An Ideal Husband

My good lady and I love nothing more
than the theatre, Oscar Wilde being
a particular favourite of mine.

During the interval I watch a chap
stroke the plump back of a woman I take
to be his wife until he turns around.

Easy to spot, because jirt can’t do hair.
The starving, slime-skinned amphibians
that poured out of that giant ship of theirs,

were so grateful and eager to fit in
they set about changing, each new brood
less and less like newts and more like us;

willing to clean and cook and change nappies
just for a home. It was that attitude
to hard work swayed my vote for them to stay.

This sleek fellow is one of their latest,
good with kids, easy-tempered, biddable,
brimming with admiration for our women.

Now having proved so useful, they even
chaperone a wife to the theatre,
while her husband is working late perhaps.

Our eyes meet. The jirt smiles, almost a smirk,
its long, supple tongue flicking in and out.
The house lights dim, the next act beginning.

David Barber