Don't go to Milnthorpe!


The Spar shop is closed.
Drawbridge up-portcullis down.
An aproned granny smirks through the glass
as she labours the bolt into its round case.
A rifle bullet of finitude
condemning me to a
milkless, breadless existence.

I curse country life
under my breadless, milkless breath.

A youth observes me warily.
The grannie and I in rictus.
A frieze of unmet needs
in the dark hunching
of Milnthorpe Square.

Then, suddenly, Death walks past-
blood on his scythe.
As if on his way to a party-
he is clearly jaunty.

‘I’ve been looking for you’ I shout,
while wondering how to bundle him in
to the boot of the car.
Then four little witches
hubble bubble giggle and trouble past.
Lovely little witches.

And I feel sad for me.
No kids.
No pumpkins.
No vampire outfits.
Just me
and my dry and dusty books.
Writing down the bones

Photo by Matthew Emmott

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