Talking Shop


It wakes much earlier than the shops their shutters like heavy eyelids

Rise only when the clock strikes nine their muted staff all work on time

The mass produced, top end, on trend uniform for fashion sheep

They don’t go where talk is cheap

For fabrics, haberdashery, hardware, software, toys and pet stuff, clothes and makeup

See it all from phones to carpet down the market

Hear the traders bark through rows of multicoloured tarp.

Distorted offers, lost in brummie like a train station tannoy

In between, the Nannas bustling trolley conga, make the day much longer

If you don’t shout up, move through, who’s next, long wait, for God’s sake!

Louder still the traders call, animated voice crescendo,

Wholesale masters of innuendo, “Firm pair, nice plums”,

How to turn a mere exotic fruit into some faux erotica

Down the line, mind the pallets, watch your wallets,

Get your moneys worth, salt of the earth

Grab yourself a knock off scent, you’ll hardly tell the difference

Apart from the name and the smell, it’s Calvin Klein for £2.99?

Fabric sellers by the dozen, silk and satin, jersey, cotton

Multi cultural rugby scrum,

A meeting place for economising human race

Flower seller, fortune teller, things for cooks, books, more for less, fancy dress

My discount’s more than him up there gives, punctuated with expletives

Small change, no exchange, first to get it, no credit.

Then back towards the old main drag to ATM’s and 5p bags

List ticked, hand picked, no fail, retail.








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