• Vol. 07
  • Chapter 01
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The Girl behind the Counter

A pleasant girl behind a counter,
of a soon to be closed shop.
In an endangered species of well-known
chains – past icons of the High Street.

Hitting the buffers of online shopping
and fickle customers deserting in droves.
Luxuriating in the comfort of their armchairs,
with scant thought of disenfranchised assistants.

I talked to her whilst making my purchase.
She was looking for another job – no problem
with a degree in criminology – surely!
But she was now looking forward to a holiday

in Jamaica – clearing out from our dispirited island.
Cloudy and damp – riven with Brexit despair.
November nosing its impenetrable way to December
and a General Election in the season of good will!

I wondered about her ancestors – this child now
of Britain and whether Jamaica was the home of
relations or just a warm winter two week destination.
But a queue behind precluded such information.

Did her forebears come over on Empire Windrush
To help our country and then misled and dismissed
by a Hostile Environment – cruelly metered out?
I hoped not and wished her well and a happy holiday and

future – wherever she landed in our own messed up island.