Paul Archer - photo Paul Archer - poet, translator



Night in a 7-11

Sedate tins
of yellow tomatoes
burst into flames.

A girl in a large beret
turns over a chicken
but can't see its price.

It squawks.
A man with one shoe
methodically reads

the years on wine bottles
2007, 2005, 2008,
he reaches the end

and turns to read
the expiry dates
on breakfast cereals.

Pencil-thin fingers
press packs of frozen peas
to test for freshness.

They belong to Julia Roberts,
but Julia herself
is not here tonight.

A rack collapses.
The floor is a forest
of pine needles.

The tannoy
declaims "We'll make it
look like an accident"

but as it's high-pitched
and in an unusual dialect,
no-one stops to listen.

© Paul Archer - All Rights Reserved