Do you have a poetry section?

Great question, sir. Follow me.
Here you go: where Shakespeare ends
poetry begins. That goes for our shelves
and for my views on Shakespeare.
Good day to you
. And off he bounces,
his knees clicking like the top of a critics’s pen.
The tassels on his fluorescent yellow and green
face mask dance like they want me to follow.
He fires a finger gun at a colleague
organising the self help section
who raises a thumb that has seen better days.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Torture

You are strapped in,
facing the wrong way.
You can’t speak the language.
You don’t know where you’re going.
We’ve done all we can for you.
The hardest part must be knowing
one day you will be able
to get out and do what you like,
but not tonight.
Tonight, you must submit
to the white noise of cars
overtaking us,
breaking the speed limit.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Guess who

As kids we would sit and guess
who was coming down the stairs
by the creaks of the floorboards.
It became second nature.
We’d know if we needed to hide
what we were doing
or if we could get away with it.
When I walk into my son’s room
in the morning his face is the partner
of the inventor of the door,
blown away by the reveal.

© Carl Burkitt 2021

Gareth Southgate lives down my street

He is the bloke who uses different tongs
to flip the vegetarian burgers from the meat,
the woman who lets strangers
have some of the eggs from her chickens,
the charity shop that lets you stay
a few minutes after closing
so you can triple check the size of those trainers,
the lampposts in the dark corners,
the
the passerby offering directions,
the leaves that fall
and keep coming back.

© Carl Burkitt 2021