The Queue


She’d been on the Queen Mary,
she told the check-out girl.
She’d given up smoking, they could see 
she still pursed her lips,
snake hand poised,
for the camera.
And she’d been a welder in the war,
she showed the burn on her arm.
He was away, months on end,
the Arctic convoys, you know.
Done with nodding and smiling,
or simply looking away,
the tail twitched and quivered
till she paid, and left her scent.



© Nemo 2023
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We have all been there, Gerald. We know that we have joined the wrong queue when we realised that the dear old lady at the front, having met a smiling and friendly face, feels obliged to tell the cashier her life story, unaware that she is delaying the other shoppers. I have seen a similar behaviour at the Post Office on pension day.
Well observed and neatly recorded.


A touching poem Gerald, I read this the other way, with a focus on the cashier and the intolerant queue that couldn’t be bothered to spend any time engaging with the old lady, when that might be the only contact she has with anyone that day. Best Keith

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