in the pharmacy
I recognise the
another woman is wearing.
I know she’s steeled herself
to stillness for a spell,
on the edge of the torn vinyl bench
across from the counter.
but the amenable idleness
of the gossiping clerks
soon drives her to her feet
and she paces the aisles in
a restless aimless fashion
slowburning to caged-animal frenzy.
whatever we’re waiting for –
antibiotics or antidepressants,
sedatives or laxatives –
we’ve long-suffered to the end of our tether,
eventually incubating the edginess
of junkies jonesing for a fix.
each asinine comment or tired version
of what passes for conversation
in tiny unbothered by other people’s
time constraints high street chemists
another irritant, a burr in our tender places,
all kinds of acid to our peace of mind,
when nothing progresses our cause
or expedites dispensing.