She hovers outside the window in short sleeves,
Puffy ankles pushed into sandals,
Oblivious to the mid-winter crispness.
She sucks the life out of her ciggie,
Increasing her lip lines with every draw.
Hair dyed so black it’s almost blue,
Scraped up into a top knot
With white roots and scalp peeping through.
The smell of death oozes from every pore of her chalky skin;
Ill-health throbs from bulging eyes
Encircled with smoky black eye-liner.
She looks on as grieving relatives choose wreaths
And wooden boxes for loved ones,
From laminated images in a plastic ring binder.
Another customer, another smile
Through yellow teeth and crimson lipstick.
© Vicky Newham 2012. All rights reserved.
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