He sits alone at the table, his fingers
ease across the sticky ring-marked surface.
Once sure, his grip is firm.
The pint of beer proclaims
his right to be there.

Tuned to the pin-dropping noises
of silence, his sensitive ears scream
in this world of babbled voices,
demonic decibels of rhythm,
clinking protest of glass.

In an atmosphere thick with warmth,
the tactile waves lap around him,
sweeping him through the evening.

His beer finally sips to a creamy smear
and he rises, reluctantly.
The Red Sea parts…
Shuffling towards the door, his white stick
describes the arc of his isolation…

Somebody grabs his chair.

© Marion Sharville


Marion Sharville

For once, I think I have this Christmas sussed.
I bought my greetings cards back in July.
To beat the post I knew I simply must
be ready as the festive time drew nigh.

I clamped them in a brand new rubber band,
prepared to be delivered by my hand.
The postage on them all would break the bank.
…I hope I have enough fuel in my tank.
Some will need stamps, who live so far away;
not seen for fifty years, if it’s a day.

If I don’t send to Lucy she will think
that I have shuffled off this mortal coil.
I’d hate to think that worrying might spoil
her Christmas dinner, parson knows that she
is definitely years ahead of me

and someone in New Zealand, I met once,
who, every year, a calendar he sends
and obviously needs a kind response;
I choose a card I hope, will not offend.

I’m absolutely shattered and I’m skint.
I’ve done up all my parcels; wrapped them well.
The Cellotape’has driven me to drink,
It’s good to have so many friends…I think

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