Assassin in My Village Supermarket
By Mark Burrow
Buying scotch eggs and a pint of milk
in my village supermarket,
I notice the boy on checkout has
Lee Harvey Oswald eyes and Gavrilo Princip lips.
I look around for JFK, checking to see if
he’s buying hair product and suntan lotion.
I’m reliably informed that the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife
shop here regularly for Battenberg cake.
I’m convinced that blood is going to be spilled
when the cashier asks whether I have a loyalty card.
The real question in the queue is this:
does he kill me, or do I kill him?
I’ve come to realise that the Parish News,
posted through my letterbox each month,
is really an anarchist pamphlet
signalling a call to arms.
The old lady behind me in the queue
knows all about the breakdown of society –
back in her youth, she was a mentor
for Andy Warhol’s shooter, Valerie Solanas.
Out in the fields, the farmers are stockpiling
(many round here think it’s just the harvest).
A revolution is coming, where the proles will seize
the means of production and sports will be free to air again.
I sit in my car, watching the entrance to the supermarket,
eating a scotch egg, a copy of the Parish News on my lap,
feeling like a cop on a stakeout as I wait for the arrival
of the Kennedys and the Ferdinands.
One day, I’ll be stopped in the street
and people will jostle to ask me:
“What was it like to be served by the boy
with Oswald eyes and Princip lips?”
And I will tell them the whole story.