Discount Day

He crumples, drops his paint (‘Ruby Surprise’),
a tall grey shape unseasonably dressed
losing his wallet and American Express
at the exit of the D-I-Y.

The sliding doors think twice but try to close;
they slide apart and shut again and jam
waisting the shape that is no longer man
but just a bundle of outmoded clothes.

Our hot and restless queue grows still,
a manager (discreetly) comes to say,
“We apologise for the delay,”
and ushers us towards another till.

The man had turned, smiled and shrugged at life
– a hot day and an unpriced can
with barcode that a cashier couldn’t scan,
and getting stick from an impatient wife.

A cushion has been found, placed on the floor,
below grey hair, grey face, disheartened eyes.
His wife kneels by a can that says ‘…Surprise’.
I push my trolley to another door.

- – – Tony French, 2011 – – –

3 Responses to Discount Day

  1. Tony French says:

    Thank you, ‘Glitz’. You prompted me to look again – and change just one word and add a comma and a semi-colon in this (unfashionably?) punctuated poem.

  2. Daffni says:

    Thank heavens there are still poets who use punctuation. good for you. And the poem is a really effective take on aging and a bsckground setting that anyone would identify.

  3. Vida says:

    You have the wonderful ability to paint pictures with words. I can see the scene and sympathise with the participants, and yet, although I feel sorry for them, it also makes me smile, as these things happen and are part of life. You have documented life, through a poem.