The Odd Salesman

By Miki Byrne

He was a gentle salesman.
Not at all what we expected.
Soft voiced, he lay explanations
light as leaves before us.
Discussed what we wanted,
as if all weight and sadness
had been extracted somehow.
We didn’t have to pay then.
That would follow.
You might have thought
that talk of money was tainted,
so easily did he shrug it away.
Today was about choice.
Only that.
I took in his neat haircut,
shiny shoes, middling suit.
Hands clean with neatly trimmed nails
that showed as he sipped his tea.
Let that smile just touch his mouth.
He said we had a month
to change our minds.
Kept his voice low, melodious.
Took signatures, shook hands.
Told us we had given our kids
the greatest gift.
That all our instructions would be
diligently carried out.
When he left, we felt surreal.
Conscious of the incongruity.
We had just bought our funerals.

I have been disabled for many years and often write in isolation. This Lockdown has not made a lot of difference to my life. I use my time to write something everyday and consider having that time as a gift. Finding stimuli can be tricky but disabled writers cope with this. So can you. Stay safe and well everyone

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Pat Connors
Pat Connors
3 years ago

As a salesman by day, the imagery really gripped me. Even in the context of this project, I was thrown by the surprise ending. Masterfully done!

Poetry and Covid-19 ARCHIVE (This website archives the over 1000 poems submitted by over 600 poets, and viewed by over 100,000 from over 125 countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, June 2020-June 2021). Thank you to all who took part in the Poetry and Covid project.

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