A new month and a new poem from Mr George Wills:
A bright cheerful brass bell, and in from the street
Door closes behind us, now safe from the sleet
Three staff smile from the counter, and one from the store
Business is quiet, but they’re hoping for more.
Bridget and Kathy, Rebecca and Claire
They watch as we wander, the only ones there.
Shelves full of china, shelves full of brass
Shelves with ceramic and metal and glass
Lined up around us pristine or timeworn
Cast out of our lives, unloved and forlorn.
Things smelling of wardrobes, of years in the dark
Clothing in styles predating the Ark.
We see items of paper, of canvas, of wood
Things knitted and hammered and painted and glued
A stopperless carafe, with five glasses from six
A Barbie, a Ken, and some little toy bricks
Cutlery, virgin since the day it was gifted
A squashed piece of silver whence sugar once sifted.
A small seaside piece labelled, wrongly, as Delft
A book with MY name in SHE brought from MY shelf!
Books by an author whose name I recall
But stacked out of reach by someone too tall
Photograph albums with family ghosts
Pictures of aunties, and far foreign coasts.
‘The Devil Hates Kansas’, it says on this book
Oh, God, a mirror, that’s ? not ? how ? I ? look?
Some left-over soaps, and bath-salts from Gran
Maracas, and egg cups, a teapot and fan.
Some Dynasty blouses and fifty-waist jeans
A small silver hip-flask from someone with means
Shells stripy and spiky, bought on the Med
Some wooden creation brought straight from a shed
A bright red handbag and a small fabric purse
Attacked not by moth but by something much worse
A lightning conductor and glass fishing-floats.
Bright pink slippers and zipperless coats.
Souvenirs come here, once bought to impress
But failed in that purpose, so here now they rest
From Egypt, Sorrento, from Rome and Oman
From Majorca, Minorca, from Crete and Milan
From Italy, Spain and, much further away,
From Mexico, Cuba, and the U. S. of A.
That’s enough for me now, though the weather’s still poor
Just one more shelf, on the way to the door
What’s that purple thing? – yes, a nice little pot.
What’s it say? Poole, England? Surely not!
Let’s to the till, give Kathy the pound
Forty on e-Bay, or more, I’ll be bound!
© George Wills 2016