16 Nov

Shopping bags at the ready,

my mum and her sisters

would set off early

on Saturday mornings,

to beat the queues at

the Old Swan shops,

where, they would find,

many others

had the same


And so they queued.

But in the long, slow lines

they’d meet lost friends,

old schoolmates,

ready with the gossip,

picking over lives

as they filled their bags

with Sunday’s lunch.

At half past five

the shops would put

their shutters up

and home they would wend,

with enough tales

to see them

through the week.

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