Trolley Man

When someone asks, Could I have
a sandwich with some cheese in it?
I will say No sandwiches today!

And if anyone should ask for coffee
I will say, Hot water not working.
Shocking, isn’t it?

I will wheel my trolley from one end
of the train to the other, smiling
magnificently at everyone.

And when a lady asks,
I don’t suppose you’ve got
a piece of shortbread
some lovely, lovely shortbread?

I will say, No my dear
all the lovely shortbread has gone.


© Julian Stannard, from Heat Wave (Salt Publishing, £9.99) and highly commended in The Forward Book of Poetry 2021.

With kind permission of the poet