‘Death Awaiting’: Pen & Ink . . . WHB – 2017
DEATH VISITS THE POUND SHOP
I heard it in the Pound Shop,
A cheapish place to be.
At first I wasn’t listening,
It seemed like Greek to me.
On her mobile phone,
Talking to who knows who.
Oblivious to all else
When in the checkout queue.
I’ll give you the milder version,
Don’t wish to spoil your day.
“ ‘Snot goin to’ appen” she shouted,
“Tell ‘im to eff off out of the way.”
Then raising her voice in crescendo,
Turning the air quite blue,
“It reely ‘urts” she said,
“’Urry up ‘cos I want the loo.”
Ignored by her fellow shoppers
This lasted quite a while
And no one tried to stem the flow
Of rhetoric and bile.
Yes, several brows were furrowed,
But no one else said a word.
‘Twas as though it hadn’t happened,
Nothing untoward had occurred.
Until a gaunt and aged chap
Facing her directly,
Said, “It’s H-urts, not ‘urts, you know,
Please do speak correctly.”
“And H-urry, H-appen, not just ‘appen”,
He then went on to say,
“H-ell’s bells and H-old your H-orses too,
Just get it right I pray.”
The woman was stunned for just a moment,
I thought she hadn’t heard.
She looked with disdain on him,
And said, “Don’t be H-absurd!”
And then that old and dark-caped chap
Taking a deep breath,
Wielding a scythe and timer said,
“Lady, you are approaching Death.”
“‘Ow rude”, she shouted sullenly
And headed for the door,
What cheek to tell me ‘ow to speak
”I ain’t stayin ‘ere no more”.
With this the miffed and coarse-grained lady
Swiftly bagged her phone
Left the shop with deadly speed,
“I’m effing off back ‘ome”.
CODA . . .
What happened to the aspirate
Has it become redundant?
Careless speech is everywhere
And coarseness now abundant.