#100repchallenge, poetry
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#014: On the language floor of a bookshop

I’m trying to decide whether to buy

Miguel de Cervantes for kids

Or a book on the grammatical structure of Jamaican Creole



“Gary, love, you know those twenty pound notes you gave me”


A tinny voice

Scratches their way out of a speaker phone

The hand that holds the phone

Nowhere to be seen.


“Well some of them are missing”


I hear mumbling …”Janet.”

Mumble Mumble Mumble.

I go past the French aisle, nothing

Return a book to Jamaica


“And some of them look like they’ve been chewed apart”


I think back to last week’s novel by Sara Collins

Her protagonist, Frannie

Forced to eat pages of a book she dared to read

Who dared to steal this money? Got caught and forced to chow down on

Ink, Sweat, Metallic and-


“Corner shop won’t take ’em”


I turn into the German aisle to spot

A giggling couple caressing their fingers

Over a copy of Kafka’s ‘Metamorphosis’

It takes both of them to hold the weight of 60 pages.

Even they are distracted by Janet down the phone.


“I’m not being funny love, but you’re the only person who’s given me £20 notes”


The audio and veneer of being “nice” begin to crack.

I quicken my pace, Gary makes no response back.

Past Russian, Italian, Urdu and Indonesian

Gary’s silence causes Janet’s intonation and blood pressure

To compete for dominion.


“Gary. Gary!”


Gary is crouched down on the carpet

Reading ‘The Little Prince’ in Welsh.

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