On Finding that nothing stays Sweet

In a small Welsh town of Abergavenny,
a market was held in sight of the old Town Hall.

Being eight years old, her tears dried
by face powder and the lipstick smile,

was forgotten as the monkey danced
in fur and red cap to an old accordion
battered dull by his master’s thick fingers.

I always ignored whispers, and the sighs of told-you-so,
with made up stories that faeries made you good

like clothes from a shop, not jumble from a straw bag.
Still full of dance, I saw the toffee-apple,

brown with sweet redness, and left the monkey
as I snatched my silver pocket money coin

and ran through the vegetables:
cabbages piled high,
carrots racked on long leeks,
potatoes humped in heaps

then I turned and saw her gone, stolen like a daddy.
If I find that monkey, perhaps I’ll stop running.

Published in Poetry Atlas

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