A couple sit waiting for a bus after shopping at the Barras Market

This poem is typical of Lochhead. It very much combines her Scottish sense of pragmatism with her craftsmanship as a wordsmith to create a meditation on a relationship that has reached a crossroads.

The speaker in the poem describes a day out with her lover at the famous Barrows market in the east end of Glasgow. This experience is used as a wider metaphor to explore and reflect upon her relationship.

The title of the poem refers not just to the bargains the couple seek out at the market, but to the bargaining that occurs within any relationship.