Everything is yet to come
on Morrissons’ in-store notice board –
jobs, used sofas, missing dogs.
I only crossed the street to get some ice-cream
and here are other people and wants
and anticipation. And the queues at the tills
are long! If I gave up my expectations
I might find all the morning has to offer
on index cards. If I dared
what I don’t dare I’d post up my desires –
in biro, in quadruplicate, like George,
53. He wants a nice lady. I want to slip
inside the sound of teaspoons on porcelain,
take my toast with Muscavado sugar, stop
trying to replace my first love’s voice. Perhaps
it’s handwriting and hope and ruled paper
with smudges that make things happen
and my shopping is superfluous. I could give up
all my goods before the exit. I could leave
without a punnet of raspberries
and only its scent. I could take what’s there –
chances, telephone numbers – and find
that’s how it happens, the future.
Heather Phillipson is a visual artist and regularly exhibits her work both nationally and internationally. Her poems have been published widely and she won an Eric Gregory Award in 2008. She is currently Artist in Residence at London College of Fashion.