Mistress of the only dépanneur
in the neighbourhood
you might have opened your knees
for the man who stopped for a treat
mummy’s sharp eye winking yes
from an antique frame over the cash.
You could’ve lifted your skirt
in the back room.
You might’ve been the one
for him, you might’ve been
if only you’d worn the years more
to your advantage,
ripe breasts inside your apron
full of kindness, sweet milk of
for a gentleman who licks ice cream
and craves love.
But you grew too fat, didn’t you?
stockings rolled, thick ankles, ringlets
uncurled to straw, not even your shadow
fit into the rat-hole
because you kept on eating
And now rose-light lady
blousy in the late of an open door
your street lies a-dust with all
that echoes decades down.