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.

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