The Old Swan Shops

Shopping bags at the ready,
my mum and her sisters
would set off early
on Saturday mornings,
to beat the queues at
the Old Swan shops,
where, they would find,
many others
had the same
And so they queued.
But in the long, slow lines
they'd meet lost friends,
old schoolmates,
ready with the gossip,
picking over lives
as they filled their bags
with Sunday's lunch.
At half past five
the shops would put
their shutters up
and home they would wend,
with enough tales
to see them
through the week.

By Kath Dodd