Halfway through my walk I’ve got this poem in my head.
I’ve got to write it down.
I pick up pace, race through the Brickworks Market. Someone, surely ….
A stall owner looks up as I go past.
You got a pen and paper? I ask. I’ve got this poem here — [pointing to my head] — I got to write down.
Sure, he says, do I get my biro back?
Of course, I say. Do I get to keep the paper?
He gives a feeble smile.
What’s yr name? I say. Yr first name? I’ll dedicate the poem to you.
What human being wouldn’t be impressed by this grand gesture?
Costa, he says in a deadpan voice.
Just then his mobile rings.
It’s his girlfriend.
He’s yabbering on what they’ll get up to tonight while I’m furiously writing. It’s hard to stay focused.
Some of what he says gets in the poem.
He keeps adjusting his crotch.
That gets in the poem too.
Then sensing the monologue winding down I stagger to the end of the poem like a runner over the finishing line.
Here, I say. I’m done,
I’m hoping he’ll ask for a copy or at least a read.
But Costa isn’t interested.
He only wants his biro back.
No hard feelings, I say. This poem’s still dedicated to you.
And I write his name, Costa, above it in bold letters with a flourish.
But I needn’t have bothered.
The poem was crap.
* the photo prompt was the running man