She sits, all trainee smiles and puppy-fat,
Checking the goods, that pass before her eyes,
A pack of biscuits, something for the cat
And trolleys Everested with supplies.
She talks of music as the scanner squeaks,
The endless belt glides forward like a swan.
I listen when my bar-code beauty speaks:
Don't take the mickey - Mahler turns me on.
She checks my money, puts it in the till
Take what you will, but be prepared to pay
Concern is not included in the bill.
We do not talk of famine far away.
The world and I have left it somewhat late,
And we are both beyond our sell-by date.
The Times Saturday Review, July (?), 1992