Thursday, 17 August 2017

2 poems by Charlotte Barnes

Observations from inside a coffee shop

They swap snapshots of once-removed offspring,
Beaming: ‘Look what my child made!’ Newborns,
Grandmothers still finding their feet with holding babies
But not changing nappies, they pass Polaroids around
Like they are local currency. Helen, recently bereaved,
Never conceived and now she excuses herself, takes
Their orders for tea and asks who fancies a scone.
‘I can manage,’ she says. ‘My treat, dears, I’ll pay.’
Helen is learning how to live life on her own.

The table is merely a prop that prevents them from pawing
At each other in public. Their pubic bones have crushed
Into each other so frequently that for one, the other feels
Like home – and to be so far apart makes them feel alone,
But public decency frowns upon public displays of lust
In coffee shops, and so they stop at intertwined fingers.
Their stares linger, and she says: ‘We’ll put people off
Their cups of tea.’ He laughs, tells her that she’s wrong –
I swallow the urge to lean over and tell her that she’s right.

Charlotte Barnes is a Worcester (UK) based writer and poet who is currently working towards her Doctorate degree in Creative Writing and English Literature. While Charlotte’s academic endeavours have seen much of her focus rest on writing prose, she is now working to nurture her poetry alongside this, both on the page and on the stage, in her efforts towards performance poetry. Charlotte’s general interests are tea-drinking, cake-eating, and book-reading.

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