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Lay for the Day 1st May


Mayday.
What about the workers?


Till

C. Johnstone’s Scots –
her plastic says
her name, her voice
her birth.

Behind her, heads
and nothing else
look down, move side
to side,

the row of tills’
alignment and
identity
precise.

Seven is dark,
half-Indian,
half-African
perhaps,

whose nose-stud winks,
her modish mop
curled and front shock
gingered;

while eight’s black hair
and small white face
are perfectly
Pictish.

And so on down
the line and round
the conquered globe –
live parts.

C. Johnstone’s six,
whose lilt amid
digits’ blips is
humane.


John Gibbens
from Characters: One Life

 

The Lay Reader: an archive of the poetic calendar



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