Bon Marché

Bon Marche

What makes a thing grow to a torment

Not a thing, Wake tells himself. He has fallen prey

The succubus has dealt him night for day.

The Queen’s road constable falls in beside him.

“Fine evening, sir.”

“How,” says Wake, stiff, and refusing to eye him,

“may I be of assistance to you?”

“Pleasant, I always find it, walking. You’ll suppose I

don’t see much of interest, along this way. No, I’ll say it’s quiet.

Wintertimes we get some thefts. Boots, they steal. Coal

now and then. You, Mr. Wake,” he adds, as Wake

thrusts hands in coat pockets, his gait become a stride,

“see some thieving in your line. Much the same thing,

smuggling.”

“I’ve been heard to say so. Shall we part company, constable?

Or have you shopping of your own to do?”

Night for day, yes, pain for pleasure. Antic thoughts for lonely hours.

And yes, he has been noticed pilfering—

or this clumsy interview would not have been.

***

When dark falls, and sea-born fog rolls up the Avon

Wake, standing suspense no more, pulls her feathered bonnet on

Who she is, this swart female whose face needs powdering

He hasn’t in full decided. He awaits a sign.

***

Copyright 2017 Stephanie Foster

 

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