Poem 68, day 69: The Shop Assistant

The Shop Assistant


The queue almost stretched to the end of the shop.

Not once did he look over his glasses.

He feared people, and so he took his time.

Individually packed items into bags made of plastic.

He wasn’t thinking of the potatoes, or washing powder,

Or the tomato sauce he packed.

He was thinking of home, of his mother,

His elderly mother whos hips made it difficult to walk.

She’d be there now, with only a television for a friend,

Waiting for him to return.


His downward glance was interrupted

By the thrust of a hand, grabbing a bag.

‘Might as well do it myself.’

The noise of people, it grew louder. The mumbling of

Irritation rolled along the queue to his ears,

And he tried, really hard to think of something else.

‘Hurry up!’ said the hand,

But as much as he wanted to, and he really did,

He couldn’t go any faster.

Or even mumble a word.


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