A girl’s best friend
Her Do you buy diamonds please? in Eastern European accent
startles like a hold up. I look round expecting hard case in hoody
instead get pretty young woman with toddler and cumbrous pram.
The assistant explains with shop’s liveried politeness that they buy jewellery
not gems. Her reverse ceremony slipping white gold engagement and
wedding bands from finger, proffering in palm I wish to sell these please.
Rings are popped on digital scales strict as diet weigh in. Diamond is
quizzed under Jeweller’s monocle. She jiggles pram, strains a smile at the child;
begetting stories in us like a script writers’ brain storm session.
£200. The girl beams as if a surprise scratch card win, A lot of money.
His Hallmark card cheeriness Buy yourself something nice. She goes
off to translate the twenties into nappies, fish fingers, fuel key top up…
Debt and death lurk behind his We see it all, manager countering
with the good stuff too, weddings and birthdays . But the glitter
has been heisted from the £500 pendent I have ducked and dived to buy.
As I leave, the rings, their past exorcised by cloth and polish,
are set in the shop’s spangled window display. Their second hand
status rebranded for superstitious customers as pre-loved.
Fiona Sinclair is the editor of the on line poetry magazine Message in a Bottle. Her first full collection was published in 2014 by Lapwing Press.
Fear of Letter Boxes
She listens all morning for the letter box’s warning
that causes her pen to skid across a page.
Careers downstairs scanning the door mat,
gingerly pokes a pile of junk mail where buff
envelopes often lurk like adders under compost.
Opens as if defusing a bomb.
Hospital appointments are welcome as negative test results.
Shreds Reader’s Digest’s practical joke.
Down grading her fear to code orange at a drift of white letters,
knows even these are not always innocent as they appear.
Sometimes, the friendly face of familiar handwriting
or an invitation surprising as a modest lottery win.
Still no ‘all clear’ by 12 o’ clock,
she peeps from curtains,
catching the post man passing her gate,
exhales as if missed out of a house to house search.
Sundays, strikes and snow, she is a school kid
whose bully has been excluded for a few days.
thistles stretch their prickly arms afar