NaPoWriMo – Day Ten: Around Town

George’s paper ends

somewhere before the sports section.

Instead he finds the kitchen table

still set for breakfast,

his wife’s hips wedged

between cooker and counter

as she swipes for the pepper

in a cupboard he looked in once

in search of a meter

when the gas man came calling

three years back.


Down the road the lad are out,

pushbikes and trousers in socks

with grease marks on calves,

as the milkman makes his rounds,

two streets shy of his bed

and the man he’s come home to

for the past twenty years,

no matter what their families said.


Behind the local is the lorry

loading empties from the night before,

when Josie and Keith picked a date

and each other,

and the pub turned to party

as the village poured out of their homes

to drink dry the bar

with the excuse of a reason to celebrate.


Edna will make comment

on the noise through her window

of metal kegs on cobbled lanes

to the man half her age

with his head still on her pillow

and his arm round her waist.


On the other side of town

his wife is starting breakfast

in the hopes his shift will end soon

and the manager will choose

to switch him to day work

so her bed won’t feel as empty

as it did last night

when she held his shirt to her face

and tried to remember

the last time he’d kissed her.


The sports section is by the toaster

next to yesterday’s post

and a card from George’s nephew

sending best wishes from New York.

In his hand is the pepper,

from the cupboard that does not hold the meter,

and on his lips are three words

he can’t quite decide how to say.


I’m tying two prompts together tonight with this poem. The NaPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem of simultaneity in which multiple things are happening at once and the dVerse Poets Pub was to write a poem about a town, city or village. I hope it’s okay with tonight’s host that I made up a town.




  1. This is fabulous, Carol, so multifaceted, well characterised and detailed. I love the images in the lines:
    ‘Down the road the lad are out,
    pushbikes and trousers in socks
    with grease marks on calves’
    ‘… the noise through her window
    of metal kegs on cobbled lanes’.


  2. I love that you made up a town, and a marvelous one it is! I read this out loud and was flooded with every emotion and then you read it out loud and I drown in it. Simply astounding writing! Characters and images and words that love each other. AND you blended it with the GloPo prompt with flair. Glad you joined in, Carol!


  3. This isn’t a poem, it’s a three volume novel. It actually put me in mind of Under Milk Wood – the quirky cast of characters and the glimpses of their fully rounded lives.


  4. Awesome interpretation! I love how tangible it all was, I could see it happening before my eyes–using these traditional and easy-to-access ideas, we can all understand it. Well done!


  5. Loved all your word pictures! Especially the milk man delivering milk house to house. I had a milk man when I was very young. Glass bottles on the porch with cardboard tabs and aluminum foil over it all. You took me down memory lane on this one.


  6. Oh…..I WISH you could be sitting here to here the explosive, out-loud “oh” that escaped my lips when I got to the end of this post. This is just absolutely amazing! You’ve introduced me to a town….to the people who really are the town. The lad who goes home to the man, no matter what their family says………the cupboard with a meter and then ending with the pepper from the cupboard without a meter………hips and pubs and personal names. This is truly truly a wonderful response to the prompt! I ENJOYED this so much! πŸ™‚


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