Rats, cats and lightning blue

They sat in my cellar

Ran over my shoe

Squeaked in the coal hole

Howled in the rain.

I shut all the windows

To keep out the pain

I’m frightened of lightning

Red, yellow or blue

Glowing like thunderbolts

Aiming for you

With a tag to their tails

Saying you’re the next one

We’re coming to get you,

And daughter, and son.

The rats lie in waiting

For dead men they gnaw

The cats know the rats come

And dozing they paw

Idly at fireflies

Chasing the night.


When dawn lifts her lashes

And turns on the light

The cats go domestic,

Furry and fat.

The cellar is empty

No sign of a rat

The lightning has ceased

It’s a glorious day

The sun shines so brightly

My dreams fade away.


But what if one day

They don’t?

© Gillian Peall


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