He told me to meet me inside the shop,
The charity shop, on the parade, right by the ASDA
Where the kids loiter in bunches, like bananas in blazers,
Waiting for men to buy them cigarettes,
Swinging on the railing as I slide through the door.
The bell tinkles solemnly as I search through the gloom,
Touching the racks of velveteen skirts
And ballgowns that once hung in wardrobes of rich
And powerful ladies who now lie in state,
With powdery white faces and purple rinse hair.
The thimbles and wine glasses sparkle in sunlight
As I breeze through the aisles searching for him,
And puzzles with pieces that crept from their boxes,
Line up on shelves too low to see.
The book shelves that line a wall at the back
Have called out to me as I brush past the shoes,
Their spines like rainbows that spell out the words
Of hushed secret messages he’s sending to me.
But I know he’s not here, I know he won’t be,
I hoped that our history could be sewn in between
The stories that scream out in the weightiest quiet
That bears down on all who slip in to see
What they can find in that old musty shop.