Longlisted Poem 2013

Elisabeth Owen

Llandidloes High School, Llanidloes, Powys

They Took Shelter in the Tearoom

He had
Half-moon glasses and sleepy eyes
And little, grey, aging tufts, sprouting from his ears
Like elephant coloured straw.
He tapped his foot to the tick of his watch,
Impatient feet clothed in odd socks.
Perhaps he didn’t care anymore.

She sat
Hunched over, sucking up the steam
Like a hoover with glittered eye lids,
An emerald nose piercing, dirty and infected.
It twirled between her fingers,
All ten daubed in gaudy varnish.
A rainbow of stumpy digits and jewels.

I noticed
Dull golden stars, draped from earlobes
Almost lost in a rope of wiry hair.
Accompanied by a few crumbs,
Sticky on her neck with syrupy jam
And crunchy whole-wheat.
The evidence of a hasty breakfast.

It creaked
Under weighted leaning arms.
Black, shiny marble dotted
With circular scars to document
Each and every mug, cup and saucer.
Scrubbed at but irremovable
Like pages of a history book.

Outsiders squinted
Through the smog-blemished windows,
Wading knee deep in litter.
Drawn to the warm, toasty hue,
The wrinkly, treacly settees,
Homey floorboards and a fragrance of calm.
A siren call to those lost in the crashing urban waves.
©Elisabeth Owen

Project Details

  • Date January 12, 2015
  • Tags 2013 The Details - Longlisted Poems