Coffee Break

A Poem

By Bernard Pearson


You the tightrope walker
Arms crossed about
Your little charcoal suit
Ever the linguist
Cradling in one hand
An Italianate cup of
Polystyrene bon hommie.

You the girl who
Spreads herself
Too thinly in
human resources and beyond

You the girl in the gym
With the ragout and lemon
Coloured stay fresh,
get fresh leotard

You, who after work
Will go for a gin
and platonic with Pardraig
From Halesowen

Later, he will hold you
Like one of the rainbow trout
He caught at that fish farm
In Redditch when you
Went on the cleanest
Dirty weekend
The west midlands
Had ever seen.

You the girl with the
Slimline briefcase
Given to you by
Your grandmother
(the one that
smells like a chicken’)
Who still calls you her
little Miss Tiny Tears.