In the canteen…

the women from the shop floor
compare notes – the new fore-
man’s cute. They speculate whether
he’s available and watch together
as he approaches the counter.

The girl behind the steaming urn
eyes him up as he waits his turn,
smiles and flutters lashes like spiders’ legs,
gives him an extra helping
of scrambled eggs.

The women grumble, what have they got
to offer? Armed with mugs and a pot,
they go up for a refill, glaring peroxide,
brash gold hoops and make-up tide,
thrusting busts and crossing arms.

The foreman’s in the middle of the crowd,
unsure why their voices are so loud,
their elbows bristling, and the tea girl’s red.
He shrugs on his authority like overalls
and says, ‘This is a canteen, make tea not war’.

Kim M. Russell, 2017


Image found on

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Out of Standard – Signs of the time

Isadora is presenting the mid-week prompt and we’re going out of standard. She challenges us to find new places in the everyday and sully the page with the unexpected.  The prompt is simple: find an image of a protest sign and use that phrase in a poem that is not political. 


21 thoughts on “In the canteen…

  1. Love it, love the close which made me smile.
    If we really did make tea and not war and chat things over, reach a resolution, how much nicer the world would be.
    Anna :o]

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the care you took to wrap a whole story around the tagline from the sign. The girls and their struggles internal and some external. Thanks for posting and viva la!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.