Met Shipley at the bus stop
He said he didn’t like buses
They’re full of people and germs
The 46 came it was full of people
Shipley looked at my bus card with envy
He said he couldn’t wait to be as old as me
Got off at the King Edward VII Centre
Shipley wanted to go to Argos
But said he wanted to go to John Lewis first
And look at the shop assistants
Who were tastier than the ones in Argos
Rebuked him for Neolithic sensibility
Rebuked me for having no sense of humour
Walked around John Lewis for 35 minutes
Shipley pulled a muffin from his overcoat pocket
Munched as we wandered around perfumery
Trail of crumbs up the escalator and into kitchenware
Rebuked by middle-aged female shop assistant
Shipley was examining spatulas
Abandoned spatulas and proposed marriage
Proposal declined but Thank you for asking
Shipley decided he’d had enough of John Lewis
He said Let’s go to Argos
Halfway there told me he’d forgotten to bring his wallet
Struck me I had known Shipley 12 years
Had never seen his wallet
Asked him if he had a wallet
Shipley was examining the body of a pigeon
Dead in the road outside the Halifax
We were close to a bus stop
The 46 was due
Decided to get it


Martin Stannard

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