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An Eavesdropper Walks the Streets by Joe Cushnan

It’s my relationship, nobody’s business and it suits me.
It was a hammer-and-tongs conversation outside a pub,
A young girl with a screeching diva voice that could rattle glass
Talking to a man, red-faced, and trying to get a word in.


A break up, a breakdown, roll credits, the end, wait for outtakes.
Don’t speak to me. Don’t speak to me. Don’t speak to me, rotten git.
She let out a Baskerville hound-howl followed by expletives.
He walked away, raising an arm for a Churchillian V.


*


I was so sure his middle name was Charles, turns out it’s William.
Two women of years chin-wagging outside a greetings card shop
Talking about a deceased neighbour and how much they’d miss him,
His Walter Brennan musical-chuckle laugh and good manners.


He came round one day and killed two big spiders, one with his boot,
The other with a rolled up People’s Friend which I hadn’t read.
The women hugged and went their separate ways. One shouted back,
His handwriting was perfect. I wish I’d kept all his postcards.


*


He cut his hand on a salmon tin and the biggest laugh is
He doesn’t eat fish. Outside a bakery, a couple sit,
Eating sausage rolls and talking with their mouths full, crumby lips.
He needed stitches. Took ages because his hand was shaking,


Not fond of blood but he likes them Rambo films and vampire stuff.
Snacks finished, they dispose of the bags and rummage in their coats.
One lights a cigarette, the other sucks on an e-fag, merged
Smoke, a thin fog around them, cancels the smell of bread baking.


*

---

Joe Cushnan was born and raised in Belfast. Now retired, he devotes as much time as he can to writing. He has a portfolio of published features, reviews, poetry and fiction, and he blogs at www.droppedthemoon.blogspot.com

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