Writings and Witterings

Wobbly Trolley

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Recognise this?
The wobbly trolley.
The one you get landed with
time after time.
Venturesome vehicle veering madly
hither and thither in pure pantomime.

It was you that I saw, then,
last week at Morriscos,
you knocking into the odd pack of tea.
Must admit I stood back with a smile
and a smirk thinking,
gee whiz, thank goodness,
this time it’s not me.
You trail round the aisles
with your left hand hard down now,
it’s strange how the menace
can be thus controlled,
I watch as you think it is all going smoothly
the basket’s intention
begins to unfold.

Just as you thought
you had it all sussed
the wheels start to clang.
Oh gawd how you cussed,
a bright shade of puce,
a’clanging a’clanging,
wheels a’hitching and a’banging,
you chime your way down
the centre aisle–
on your face
the ghost of a smile–
to the fresh green produce.

The noise grows in clamour,
it drowns out kids screaming.
You shift past the cheese
and skirt round the rice.
You’re heading toward
a mountain of bean cans,
steering dead careful now,
slowing down nice.

But the basket is heading for
Baked Beans Bonanza!
There in its glory
all orange and proud.
The maniac menace is dragging
and straining,
pulling you on in front of the crowd.

The schizoid vehicular basket is zooming
on to the danger zone,
on to its goal.
Teeth grinning, wheels clanging,
closer and closer,
you struggle gamely
to regain control.

Bucking and swaying
you lurch side to side,
too late, too fast,
the beans coincide
with the evil trolley–malicious intent–
[don’t anyone tell me that none of it’s meant.]
The bean cans now rolling
all round the store,
“Watch out!” you shout
as more hit the floor.

You sheepishly simper
your red-faced apols,
help build the mountain anew,
creep to the checkout
one-two hop one-two hop,
the shelf-fillers grinning at you.
Smiles and scowls
and brows a-twitching,
sympathy, empathy, phew!
We’ve all been there,
all unsuspecting,
it’s the trolley dear,
not you.

Polly Robinson © 1988


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