Enter the husband-and-wife team

in a racy world of competitive types,

because, you know,

two brains are generally better than one.

Like the puttering hybrid – who’s the engine

and who the battery? Like the panting

pantomime horse, who has which end?

Tirelessly, observers try to subvert the scheme,

an affront to their own marital dynamic.

Some days they attack the head, pulling until

the soft felting under the muddling belly

is strained. Others, they make a rush

on the tail: that inevitable provocation.

We’re pulled up short with a surprise

hoof in the face, a wet clod in the mouth,

a rude clop round the ear – proof

the ‘one singular horse’ article of faith

still walks alongside us, its hot breath telling

of put-away centuries, ones we hardly knew

and ones like nightmares we thought long gone.