Following Hygiene Guidelines

I'm past my sell by date,
The lingering notion of demise
Decided now both by circumstance
And consumer attraction it seems,
No longer any decision
Of mine at all.

I'm no longer shelveable,
A bar code of reminiscence
Whose desirability
Goes to the desperate
And the starving,
Those 5 o' clock people
Eeking out wages,
Making do.

And in this image
I am utterly, utterly serene:
Wars, factions and conflicts
Are remote as news bulletins,
Impossible to connect with,
Only pretence of empathy
That would reach for the debit details
If only, if only
Two quid a month wasn't that much really.

I may be taken up,
A bargain at 65 pence
Yet if not I've noticed something else
As they might notice something else:
My use by date is good.

Welcome a new world of strange
And utterly distant possibility;
Good does evolve, quite naturally,
From the black lined bar numbers
Of our days
So that now I might chug along in the memory

Of someone kind yet strapped for cash
Whose thrift extends me
If only for three days or so.

John Cornwall

If you have any comments on this poem,  John Cornwall would be pleased to hear from you.