Policing the Till

She sat at her till and stared

sufferingly at the cascade 

coffee boxes and cans

and counting them carefully

speaking kindly, she said, “No.”


Her pinched features pulling

at her ready smile, she stopped

the stockpiling and stealing

of food from fellow folk

who see only empty shelves.


Words fall from her weary lips

and the sadness of fear for

her own, and what’s right or

wrong has been heaped upon

her shoulders and what if


she says, ‘What if we fall ill?

Who will do our work?”

Will shops close and then

           we will be shaken and shuffle

off our mortal coil starving?


And the footweary poor

hungered by others avarice and 

alarm, share the fear but not the food

as anxiety clouds men and womens’

judgement and journeying.

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margins are a great place sometimes because it is where change happens fastest but it is also a horrible place when we are stuck in them and grace is the moment when we can see that someone cares.

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