Circuit Breaker

‘Don’t forget the circuit breaker,’
She reminded, though she knew
Men like him just courted danger,
Safety first he did not do.

Showing off his sunburned torso,
Slightly flabby mid-life charms,
He attacked the poor defenceless
Privet hedge with muscled arms.

Called to her to bring refreshment,
Called again for her to sweep
All the debris from the pavement.
She had promises to keep.

While he chatted with the neighbours
Death was surely far away
From his thoughts, until the pliers
Snipped the flex – and there he lay.

All connections now were severed:
Very shocking, but you see
She was free of him for ever
Thanks to electricity.

Alanna Blake


(first published in the Literary Review)