FACES IN A CROWD
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The women are all wearing imitation silk scarves,
Blackpool or Biarritz, sipping Woman, masticating
The morning’s post, new babies and bathrooms, going
To file, snip, fiddle and smile through fish-eyes,
Crinkly green gloss, store it in stocking-tops
For next year abroad, that Pill, so perfect!
Flashing smiles from shiny domes and polished eye-lenses,
The men are glossy all over, snapping mortgages and scores
They slap fellow-souls at a distance, gun down the abusive
Clacking conductress, apologise over-loudly for their too
Plump fingers stroke smooth cheeks - bounce
Bounce, bouncing baby- faces, so manly to wet-shave!
Head heavy from dreams of bronze-fleshed centaurs
Tense with ‘The New Poets’ - no rhythm, failure of connection,
Who slept with who to get in.
Forty rose-bearing ten-year old faces are waiting
And behind them in the staff-room corpses are coffined
In eternal celluloid faces.
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