Posted in Passages

Time Warp

Be part of the solution not the problem
a maxim seen and heard
heard so often, it isn’t
belonging with – have a nice day
you’re welcome.

But Sarah was.
Sole night cleaner employed when things were quieter
now, more work than hours
phoned and made an appointment to speak with me
came prepared,
had kept a record of the rising number of rooms to be serviced
supplied corroboration from reception.
Presented her case, and proposed,
perhaps :
move some tasks to dayshift, or
increase her hours, or
add staff.
Quiet, well-dressed, well spoken, well-prepared.
Her mother was to look after her three or four-year-old
but struck with food poisoning
unable to arrange cover at short notice … so if I didn’t mind …
throughout the little girl is quiet, patient and well-behaved.

21 years later I bumped into Sarah in the supermarket,
still the same and still well presented
and proud –
accompanied by her mid 20’s daughter
and three or four-year-old grandchild.



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.