Posted in Love

Maternity Leave

I had been seeing her eight or nine years, at least,
seen her go from packer
to checkout operator
to supervisor
to acting charge.
Supermarket staff, high school here : university gone,
but she had stayed.

Always….. woebegone
flat hair, hunched shoulders, dragged feet
eyes away and down
glumly rectifying prices, approving alcohol, checking refunds.
Still there was a devout honesty,
unfailingly upheld :
No counterfeit cheer
no approximation of smile
no insincere enquiry.
Nothing reached her eyes.

Afterwards,
I could never quite remember why I had gone that way

and what encircled attention.
Perhaps it was the light
lace sunshine in riverside trees
and shining from the eyes of a mother
playing with her child. She looked so different.

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Author:

Most of my life has been spent on the bench, occasionally called into the game by extravagance or attenuation. Waiting has turned a loner into a recorder - nondescript and inconsequential, more not noticed than overlooked - the non-vantage point of children not yet considered old enough to understand. Orphaned Islands (Un)poetry is a lifetime of picking anecdotes up and not throwing them away. Stories collected like odds and ends placed in a box in the basement, the garage, the garden shed - uncertain as to what their use might be but knowing that one day there might be one.