POEM IN WHICH I TALK IN MY HEAD TO THE WOMAN OPPOSITE ME IN THE QUIET CARRIAGE FROM PADDINGTON TO BODMIN PARKWAY

I like your shoes….. boots the shade a camel would be proud of new I guess you’re not a walker though sensible even that polka dot drape of scarf is taming.  Our table is officed with your laptop, I the ignored tea girl slump sulky. You claw through layers of thought sediment, finger fracking, ruining the landscape, tapping out a hard silence distracting the stale air you won’t notice me through. I bake a loathing cake and watch it rise over the screen you are face down in. My eyes go walkabout, back up into ideas that tease at my shoulder, evade me when I grab, you their greedy click clicking seductress snatch the shiny ones. Hours gather in cloud clumps, dumb flocks of craggy sheep. The hills are grazing on rolling lambs my attention can not keep velcroed in place, don’t make me poem you to this page just look up, please look at me once so I can forget you.

Barbara Barnes

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