Break-out Session

“I’ll stay here with the strawberries,” he said.
He still supposed such droll remarks displayed
his youthful eccentricity.
The fruit
in question, surplus to the buffet lunch,
was resting, moist and fragrant, in a bowl,
alongside double cream.
He was disgruntled
when the other delegates adjourned
to tour the gardens in the autumn sunshine.
He felt himself abandoned.
“Once again,”
he thought, “fate’s acted like a foot scraper,
ill-placed outside the door to catch my shin
and send me sprawling.”
When he’d been a smoker,
lighting up would always calm him down
but nicotine addiction was a syndrome
he had now stubbed out.
“So they’ve all snubbed me,”
he complained. “I feel like one of those
unfortunates whose hopes burn only briefly
then get snuffed out half way through.
“Each time
my wishes go astray I’m left to languish
like a filter tip crushed in an ashtray
kissed just once by strawberry pink lips.”



Michael Bartholomew-Biggs is poetry editor of the on-line magazine London Grip. His most recent full collection is Poems in the Case (Shoestring 2018).