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Jo Bell

At the corner shop on Union Street,

I dosey-doe around a man my age

who’s just popped out for milk.

He scoots back to his door and opens up.

That serrated sound – the house key going home,

the scrappy jangle of the others on the fob –

is how it was when my door opened to another hand.

I would have been behind him with the fish and chips,

some shopping; finishing a phone call as he let us in.

He would push the door closed with one foot,

step unlooking to the kitchen and the coat hook,

throw the keys onto the side.

There’s the lover’s jingle, there’s the key

that opens a house and clicks it into occupancy.


14 No 10 (Sep 2010)