Crunch Time

Sometimes, walking down the street in his adopted city, Malcolm would feel out of place.
It’s summertime; - thirty-two degrees, thirty-one tonight.
He’s baking.
He’s an Irishman baking. 
In his big shoes and heavy socks; the ones he brought with him in February because he hasn't gotten around to buying new ones.  They do exist, these summer socks. These half-a-sock that can only muster up enough enthusiasm to climb as far as the ankle bone.
He paces hurriedly through crowds, decked out in cords and a green t-shirt; the one nod to the season. Out come the Pennys t-shirts, three for a fiver.
Under the arm lies the jacket.
The forecast can’t see further than three weeks ahead…yet it is adamant there will be no rain. None.
But the jacket never rests. Just in case.
The jacket travels everywhere. Just in case. 
You never know. You can never be too careful.
The locals meanwhile, dress for impact. Lean, tanned bodies. Happy and bouncy. On show for summer – nine months of crunches to his nine months of Crunchies.
Like a Porsche taken out for a spin on the first Tuesday of every month.
Primed, taut, ready.

Malcolm gets the bus.

2 up from 50

In the bed where the sofa sat
Two days and nights before
Numbered breaths upraising
Each a conscious chore.
The heavy lined red curtains
In Christmas past a joy
Return the solemn aura
of he who was a boy.
The years have passed in full now
Ambition long since gone
The sofa now a mattress
Soft light through curtains shone.
Eyes open for the others
To spy inside the soul
As always for the others
Continuing the role.
The heavy lined red curtains
Diminish stuff of life
The sun and moon together
'Like us', comments the wife.
For the time is slowly passing
Put away the tea and wine
No need for cake or biscuits
No more for suppertime.
No letters to be opened
Sent solely to his name
Payment required promptly
For him, not again.
The wife looks on this stranger
"You were the finest one of all"
The ears no longer listen
The fall.
Three weeks go past as always
The bed now been replaced
The sofa sits back gently
Curtains now of lace.
Cars drive by quite often
But never stop to speak
The man who lived here once
Has left, to seek.
Put on the kettle gently
Eat your sandwiches alone
Go walk outside in silence
Place your hand on your collarbone.
And hear the voice is calling
And hear the laugh ring true
The day must be endured
The day belongs to you.
Will the curtains close so slowly?
Will the bed be downstairs soon?
Will you kiss the hand familiar?
You two; the sun and moon.

On the Ones

“The 401 is backed up to just before the 427 on ramp. Traffic very slow in that area…”
Jane turned the radio off and sighed.
In front lay the endless stretch of redundant cars and trucks. Progress stalled. Their purpose thwarted.
Bill sat silently behind the wheel, biting his lip. Squinting his eyes as if concentrating on something in the far distance.
The engine politely mumbling its own misgivings.
“Must have been an accident” Jane offered.
He married the wrong woman.
He knew it.
Everyone was so happy, so pleased. Perfect for eachother.
The same road everyday, together apparently.
“…and it should eventually clear as soon as we remove some unresolved emotional blocks”.

“I hope no one was hurt” she said, ignoring her own.