Extraordinary Meeting

Legend suggests that the Graeae had one eye between them;
these sisters have the full complement (not counting
those in the backs of their heads.) They're also equipped
with the latest in noses for scandal, fingers that open cans,
and tongues manufactured from tails of excitable dogs. No,
what these ladies lack is something inside the skull.
True, they have one brain they picked up somewhere,
and they pass the parcel like a piece of hot news.
When the music stops, one of them will face it, and
the others be as blank as short straws.

So, they're effectively telepathic, and
inseparable as thieves. Beware. At any time,
one of them is thinking for three and the others
waiting impatiently. Don't believe you can tell
by watching which of these chickens is making
the running. Put it this way: in another dimension
you're Perseus; Andromeda's on the agenda in red tape;
the welcome home party's not all it's cracked up to be.
And don't catch the eye of the one at the end, with the hair.
You know who she is.

© Peter Howard

won 2nd prize in the Canterbury Festival Poetry Competition 1996