Shopping. They’d be at least an hour.
Immaterial what they were buying:
essential fripperies, dress material.
I started getting tense, all this waiting,
and the waste, and the dying – I could try
drilling my diamond eyes into the crowd,
gilt-edged from new-town jungles
to forage in this escalating famine
of pavlovian glass and steel –
hardened shoppers’ faces I might crack
into seismic smiles, eruptions of compassion.
Why bother? Everyone was right,
of course, in a dying world,
in a Rorke’s Drift undertow
to the politics of acquisition.
Besides, hadn’t they left someone
at home to deal with the floods
of debris and pot-bellied children
that poured through the letter-box?
The arthritic grandmother, perhaps,
that alluvium of drought,
limping to the diluvian dustbin?