I wondered if it was appropriate to ask one of my staff
explained that normally I wouldn’t ….
but my loved one was abroad.
“No. It’s okay.”
Second thoughts…. “a funeral …
you’d probably be okay for anything else …
but a funeral …. yes … you should. Not much … just a little.”
The worst timing : the gap between Christmas and New Year.
The best policy: honesty.
A secular block of shops,
concrete block, retail unsuited and unwanted by supermarkets
a blend of the personal, optional and esoteric.
Striped pole and tobacco, men’s chairs
and magazines – cars, fishing, football.
I told the blue smocked owner the truth –
and why here –
my regular hairdresser closed for statutory holidays.
nicotine filed vowels –
“right, you need to be scrubbed up a bit.”
or polish of my regular saloon
the rasp of comb
thrust of hands
gnaw of scissors
the scent of last break’s cigarette.
“Ok , that should do it –
drop cape whipped away.
“Thank you. How much?
Funeral … it not your fault …. on the house.”