It lurks among the carrots.
It shows its immaculate, shaven head,
teeth boasting intimate knowledge of orthodontics,
in a broad grin to say
it’s found its prey.
He advances and asks if I shop here often.
I stop with cabbages clutched to my belly,
lettuce leaves trailing, wondering if I dare
make a grasp
for the cornflakes on special offer that day
without collapsing the display.
As I let it all tumble down in my trolley
he asks if I’m buying things for my family.
A mere basket for him, tucked in with chocolate, cheese, champagne,
the three shushing sounds which have been my undoing before.
‘Yes, my family.’
But still he persists.
All sibilant juices, he emotes and he twists.
Not crass enough to ask for my number, he gives me his card instead,
all debonair and gallant, he waves goodbye,
swaggering on to his next attempt.
No string touched,
I lose the card among the courgettes.