Absent Friends
In M and S, her Look at this, Look at this, Look at this
curtails again my own attempts to browse.
I teeter on the edge of slapping her,
cool off in the men’s department.
Repentant, bear half her packages to Costa Coffee
buy cappuccino and cake, because she did the driving, love.
Adjacent table, a middle aged woman huddles over her Kindle,
carrier bags as cover in case stood up,
a second woman stoops to search her features for girlish traces,
speaks her name with question mark,
their embrace brings a friendship back from the dead,
then chaotic questioning as they sit with beaming emoticon faces.
A thickening in my throat as I remember:
the man whose weekly calls bi-polar swung between suicide strategy
and stomach cramping wit, who no longer phones me,
the woman whose getaway van I drove beyond
the reach of a husband’s fists who has Facebook defriended me,
because my life suddenly paid out the windfall of a husband…
These two women never quite trashed
youthful remembrance of hennaed hair and flares,
whereas I am an amnesiac memory that no prompts
of Dickens, handbags, Paris will resuscitate.
So I wrestle with yawns as a screed of texts sent to a lover
are read to me once more by a rebound friend.

Fiona Sinclair

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