The Mannequin Speaks by Susan Wood


Here in the limelight,
Shop window display,
Exhibiting my androgynous form-
Dudley Street,
Next to Pandora
On the main drag.
Top-to-toe in high fashion.
Pouting lips, feisty stance-
Black leather boots slipping elegantly along calves,
Unseasonable in this heat-
Hair shocking orange
Oversized coat to keep me warm.

Hearing muffled talk of those who pass by,
Travellers in a hurry
Along litter-strewn streets.
Her who’s popping to Sports Direct
Him straight from the Magistrates Court
Old Sami who comes by regularly
Harvesting a cigarette butt, if he’s lucky.
Whisperings of lovers entwined,
Or aloof in violent altercation.

Then there’s that lot fresh out of The Hog’s Head
Clattering up the street
On their way for a take-away,
Dilshad’s curry or a shish
Always the same
Gearing up to a Friday night,
Traffic noises stilling
Sirens alarming

A dark shadow creeping-
Always pitches up outside about this time.
Nice looking fella
With soft velvet eyes,
He slumps on his rug
With cold coffee cup besides,
Resting his head against the glass
Dreaming disconnected thoughts
As silence descends-

I’ll watch over him again tonight.


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