Not Like Us
That was us,
the uncool fans of Alexis Korner and the Chants,
who squeezed into the damp cellar to watch 
the Steel Band at the Jacaranda
and walked home after, singing,
arm in arm through the Red Light District.
Who danced and smiled and winked
and thumbs upped each other
over the shoulders of future boyfriends,
who didn’t know it yet.
Who went to parties at 26a
and ended up always, sitting on the floor
with men we didn’t like very much,
sharing their spliffs and listening
to turgid conversation with increasing hilarity.
Then laughing, laughing, laughing
till they left in despair
and we could stretch out and sleep where we were.
Who hid our friend in the wardrobe
when her many times ex
boyfriend came to call,
with his wide smile and black umbrella.
He knew she was there.
Well, we told him.
We liked him a lot and knew she did too.
He wanted her back and she wanted him back,
but she stayed in the wardrobe
and they missed their opportunity.
Not like us,
Not us.
Not like us.
They’re not like us,
these two old women in the mirror
wearing our jeans and our smiles.
Not us,
they can’t be us.
Not us.
Not us.

Tell-Tale Inklings #3 is a literary journal obsessed with narrative poetry and flash fiction character studies. Cover art: Stephan Antsey ©2017 Among writers included in this issue: Robert Beveridge Lo Gallucio Elizabeth…


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