The trees are still deep green
In these early days of Autumn.
A clear sky brings cool air that
Stings nostrils as they breath it in.
Telephone wires wrap lazily around
Slowly rotting wooden poles
That lean left lackadaisically.
On the train a man clears his
Throat, the skin sags around his
Chin, his blue check shirt loosely
Sways, it is Sunday so he doesn't
Tuck it in. Sun glints in the reflection
On his round glasses. On reflection
He thinks maybe he should have worn
That green shirt his wife gave
Him, as he realises a tear beneath
The left breast.
Still he grins, it's hours yet
Before the working week begins.
Without the window open
The warmth of the sun against his
Skin is uninterrupted and he wipes
A small trickle of sweat from his
Wrinkled forehead. The red
Chair covering plays against his
Face, making him look ruddied.
Or maybe that is just the red
From the night before.
In Budgens a woman leans on
Her trolley, make-up sprawled
Upon her face, thick oil paint,
Abstract. Seven frozen ready meals
For one, make up the weeks shopping,
Along with a bottle of gin.
She mumbles something
Under her breath, which you
She stumbles down the
Aisles, her eyes
Dart from side to side, looking
For something or looking
For someone, not looking
For anything she could find. Red
Lipstick doesn't follow her mouth,
Words trickle out and get caught
Like something read and then forgot.
Dogs bark, tied to the bicycle rails
Outside. Small, sharp noises,
Shrill through the mid afternoon,
Shards of helplessness that
Beg for attention, stabbing
The peace as though it were
A piece of meat, to be used
For a frozen lasagne.
Once they are gone the streets
Are nearly silent but for the trains
Passing by, on which men sit
Thinking about tomorrow when they
Will stand and sweat in suits,
And their only differentiating
Feature will be the green tie
Their wife bought.