The Bargain

London, 1952


The old black pram stood in the dusty shed.

‘How many children do you have?’ she said.

‘Two girls, aged one and two,’ I answered, eyeing the pram.


It was a Dunkley, best that you could buy.

‘Three pounds alright?’ I handed her the notes.


We passed the house and, looking in I saw

Two children having tea with an au pair.


‘What is it like, being married to an artist?’

Her voice held awe, and curiosity.

What could I tell this thin and elegant woman?

She couldn’t know what life was like for me.

And so I told her what she thought she knew.

‘It’s lovely, quite romantic.’ And she beamed.

I turned and wheeled the Dunkley down the street.

The handle felt familiar, cool and sweet.