Black Country Day Savers is from Emma Purshouse's latest collection, 'It's Honorary, Bab' (Offa's Press). The poem also features in the Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists theatre/poetry piece 'Whose Round Is It Anyway' which is currently out and about at festivals.
Black Country Day Savers
The man with the gap-toothed smile is off back to his flat,
where he lives alone. Ya see that tattoo? he says.
Him proffering a forearm, me fumbling for glasses
because the devil’s in the detail. Seventy-five quid that was.
Red hearts skirt a woman’s name. For a moment
he looks lost. Done dahn Wednesfield one Fridee
bur’ ‘er’d dumped me by Sundee. I joke he needs
another wench, one who’s called the same.
Fah! He lets out a belly laugh, When ya gunna be back?
Forget tha’! I ay no homin’ pigeon! He’s wrong of course.
We both are. Going home to roost, in our respective city lofts.
I pause to wave when I get off, and he’s there,
looking out through the glass waiting to wave back.
Because that’s what we do here, we wave, we laugh,
we count the cost, natter on buses, cant with strangers,
leak out these little bits of our marvellous, glorious lives.
© Emma Purshouse