the book signing at the waterstones in charing cross
I sat in a creaky chair right at the back,
Deliberately hiding myself behind
A woman in a hat, smelling of Chanel No. 5.
You were in a far more comfortable seat,
Smiling smugly across your audience,
You always said you wanted to be interviewed,
To talk about your words, printed permanently,
A legacy to be left, haunting us all.
I purchased your book at the till, and it sits
At my feet in the bag, awaiting your signature
If only I had the courage to join that queue.
Your talk was intelligent, and the audience laughed
At the jokes you told; ones I had taught you.
The title was mine, too. I whispered it one night
Into your ear, and you’d shrugged. Maybe,
You said, but probably not.
And look at you now, as I near your table,
Your head bent low as you scribbled on pages.
I turned before I could reach the front,
My nerve giving out, I ran from the shop,
Taxis and buses cutting through anger
As I marched from the Waterstones
On Charing Cross Road.