A Girl’s Best Friend
Her Do you buy diamonds please?  in Eastern European accent
startles like a hold up. I look round expecting hard case in hoody
instead get pretty young woman with toddler and cumbrous pram.
The assistant explains with shop’s liveried politeness that they buy jewellery
not gems. Her reverse ceremony slipping white gold engagement and
wedding bands from finger, proffering in palm I wish to sell these please.
Rings are popped on digital scales strict as diet weigh-in. Diamond is
quizzed under Jeweller’s monocle. She jiggles pram, strains a smile at the child;
begetting stories in us like a scriptwriters’ brainstorm session.
£200. The girl beams as if a surprise scratch card win, A lot of money.
His Hallmark card cheeriness Buy yourself something nice. She goes
off to translate the twenties into nappies, fish fingers, fuel-key top-up…
Debt and death lurk behind his We see it all, manager countering
with the good stuff too, weddings and birthdays. But the glitter
has been heisted from the £500 pendant I have ducked and dived to buy.
As I leave, the rings, their past exorcised by cloth and polish,
are set in the shop’s spangled window display. Their secondhand
status rebranded for superstitious customers as pre-loved.

Fiona Sinclair

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