In the back room
She looks just as she looked in 1963 – more or less – and blushes as she blushed the year before. Fashion was as it is: fickle. They chucked her out in 1964. Her chipped smile adorned her work for charity after that; her lashes still were levelled as they’d been. Bearing what hand-me-downs she had to bravely, she played the mannequin. “They shut that hard-up shop and, as for me, off I went to a back-room stocked with unsold tableware. No, I don’t miss wigs or coats or evening wear – I miss the view, the air . . .” The eyes do not adjust, merely degrade. The sea, out of sight, erodes each day, and she, as if entranced, listens. It could all change. It could – again – one day! But she’s not convinced.
Michael Caines lives in London, and has had recent poems commended in the Battered Moons and Culpepper’s Remedy competitions.