Glove Puppets by Tom McColl

I always wear glove puppets in winter.
A temperature drop creates instant theatre.
Each coat pocket is a dressing room.
In my left pocket is Punch,
while in my right pocket is Judy.
What that means is,
if I put them on to compete
in a glove puppet boxing match,
a punch from Punch
wouldn’t pack
even half as much
a punch
as a punch from Judy.

And though I know there’s not much I can do
while wearing these gloves –
except put on a Punch and Judy show
(or have a glove puppet boxing match) –
it’d be no better even for someone
much better than me.

For a start, apart from getting into a fight,
it probably makes no difference
whether Punch is left and Judy’s right,
or Judy’s left and Punch is right.

Let’s face it,
whichever pockets his gloves were in,
while wearing Punch and Judy
even Yehudi
struggled to play his violin.

Thomas McColl has had poems published in magazines such as Envoi, Rising, Iota and Ink, Sweat and Tears, and his first full collection of poetry, Being With Me Will Help You Learn, is out now from Listen Softly London Press.