Jane Burn III

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Thieving Bastard

Trolley, down on its dizzy wheels – griping
under the stuffed bounty of a stolen shop.
Feller on the veg section spotted the theft,
manager came…….running.
Everyone high as kites,
………g…….d
…………..i……..d
…………………………y……..as kippers
on the adrenaline. We are gurgling, crying
……………………….OUT –
we can’t help it. Shit like this doesn’t happen
every day. Yet………………..yet…
Lately, seems more and more. Since,
you know – since the Vote,  since
the way folk have started to
……………………change,
……………………shed their veneer,
……………………have been given permission
to be the fuck they have always wanted to be.
Since then, I feel like I can smell
the change in the air, taste the coming of the

apocalypse.
Death, Famine, War, Pestilence,
mounted again on red, black and pale.

I am afraid. This is not someone
pocketing Mars Bars.
This is the start……….of looting, smash and grabbing –
this is the start………..of ram-raid, take what the hell you want
Since We Got Our Country Back.

Calm down, ladies. Manager says. Shhhhh.

Got to ring it all in – evidence. Basket full
of beef joints, vodka, whisky, champagne,
gin. Bottle after bottle of booze. Whitening toothpaste.
More than a thousand pounds.
Crowd of shoppers agog – one of them
right up my back.
He might as well be panting, eager dog
at my shoulder. His hand
snatches the crook of my elbow.
………………………..I’ll bet,
he glees –…………..I’ll bet it was
………………………….a…..F..O..R..E..I..G..N..E..R.
…………………………..You just watch.
…………………………..You
……………………………just
……………………………watch.
One of the staff breaks the throng.
It was a Geordie lass, young, long hair, high heels.
She got away, in a car.
Racist next to me reddens.
Gyppos, then.
He nods.