play deaf unless a poem answers me.

you shut the door, drove me to the all-night shop.
I was three weeks late. the air was damp and hot.
our pale reflections on the back windscreen,
the local radio DJ playing Dancing Queen
and the checkout girl in the superstore
who didn’t look at me, just what I bought.
you pointed out each lit window in town.
Take notes, you said, one day you will write this down.

it’s true. most days, I plunder what I see,
play deaf unless a poem answers me.
when I nod absently at what you’ve said,
I’m thinking of that night instead—
me in the bathroom, long before time,
already squinting for the telltale line.

“Take Notes”, Helen Mort.

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