Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

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The minibus brings them to the supermarket,
Their local grocer’s gone,
Dependable Mr Jones who stocked necessities
And asked about the ailments and grandchildren.
Now there’s nothing nearby,
Just the shop selling oriental tat and the up-market deli.
But they don’t want mirror-glass cushions and joss-sticks,
They don’t want stuffed vine leaves and taramasalata,
They want bread
And cheese
And Ajax
And Mr Jones.

They clutch the trolleys, which usefully disguise
The need for sticks or zimmers,
Clumsily corner the aisles, bemused by the clamour of choice.
They haven’t heard the polysyllabic honours
Showered on them by babbling sociologists:
Experiential enhancement, creative diminishment.
Here are bored strangers bleeping unJonesy tills,
And short hard words:
Use by
Display until
Best before
Shelf life.