Thursday, 12 April 2018

A poem by Hannah Stone

Derek is typing a message

Derek is paid £9.78 an hour
to write polite messages to customers
who choose to use the chatbox.

Sandra wants to expedite her tax rebate.
She does not want to access the website
for a quick and speedy solution to her problem.
She despises tautology,
and the practise of using nouns as verbs,
and couldn’t give a flying fuck
about acquiring Government Gateway Credentials.

Derek is sweating alcohol,
downing Red Bull and Fanta.
While he waits for Sandra to finish composing her query,
Derek is typing a message
on whatsapp to last night’s date.

Sandra is gratified at the personal attention she receives.
On the feedback form she ticks ‘exceeded expectation.’
Derek is nominated for a ‘target-meeter of the week’ badge.
He does not get a second date.

Hannah Stone has two collections published, Lodestone (Stairwell Books, 2016) and Missing Miles (Indigo Dreams Publishing, 2017), and has contributed to numerous anthologies and journals including Envoi, The North, Frogmore Papers, Snakeskin and Prole. She convenes the poets-composers forum for the Leeds Lieder Festival and co-edits the poetry e-zine Algebra of Owls. A Londoner by birth she has lived in Leeds for decades and in other lives is a hill-walker, OU tutor and forager.

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