One of the darker months
The phone rarely rang
Her typewrite ribbon fresh
The keys unimpressed
Cartridge paper laid in the tray
Gathering a carbon copy of dust
Once the post was checked
Orders filed and queries placed in pending
She'd roll the chair under its desk
Lie on the floor
And sleep

Next door, under neon I sat each day
Writing out lists of prospects
From Kelly's Directory and Kompass
Industrial estate after industrial estate
Postcode by postcode
For the territory salesmen
Occasionally compiling a report
about small electrical domestic appliances
Or drafting the blurb that would sell
Slow cookers, steam irons, sandwich toasters
I turned up most days
Before the news of Lennon
I couldn't imagine

She and I spoke so rarely
I forgot her name, she mine
The thin-windowed false wall
Partitioned us
Her with perpetual weariness
Me with accumulating grief
I wonder still
What brought us together?


n.b. NaPoWriMo 2022 Day Twenty-One prompt: person / job / art / unanswerable question.

CLP 21/04/2022