Waiting what seems like forever
for chips to fry, he sees himself
all the way down the line.
Just a boy
with a fist of coins,
eye level to the counter.
Jack the lad,
ordering for two, hungry
for the evening ahead.
The family man with complications,
two large portions, three small, two with fish
but one without, always without something.
knowing what to expect,
wrapped up in yesterday’s news.
What happens next? Somebody pays
and we all move one step forward, catching
the draught from the door as they go.
from 'Irresistible to Women'
Dean Parkin left school at the age of sixteen to work for a printer and then in a bookshop. He worked for The Poetry Trust from 2000-2015 and is now a freelance poet and workshop leader. He has published four pamphlets and a full collection, 'The Swan Machine' (2015). His first collection for children, 'The Bubble Wrap' is published in 2017.