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Waiting what seems like forever

for chips to fry, he sees himself

all the way down the line.

 

Just a boy

with a fist of coins,

eye level to the counter.

 

Jack the lad,

ordering for two, hungry

for the evening ahead.

 

The family man with complications,

two large portions, three small, two with fish

but one without, always without something.

 

Then, retired,

knowing what to expect,

wrapped up in yesterday’s news.

 

What happens next? Somebody pays

and we all move one step forward, catching

the draught from the door as they go.

 

 

from Irresistible to Women (The Garlic Press 2003)

 

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