The ramekins in the gift bag
are jingling like baubles
as we hand them over to the volunteer.
We don’t need them,
just like the man in the leather jacket
observing the saucy section
of the secondhand novels
doesn’t need the polo shirt
he just donated with a John Grisham.
There’s a woman crouching
down at the crockery section by the window
stroking a cake tin like the hand of a lost lover.
Her husband is behind her,
sighing with relief that the running shoes
she just pointed him towards are size 10 and not 11.
© Carl Burkitt 2023