The Empty Purse
She never went to the new superstore,
her local cost less, 'Cheap Stake' bought her more.
Rarely she glanced at each cool display stand,
cheaper each week, always lesser-known brands.
Dredged from the depths of her worn purse, she found
a lining of coins, pathetic, her mound.
A meagre supply she clutched, in her bag,
denied shops' bounty, or trolly-weight drag.
Pausing, so briefly, by warm Paper Shop,
certain she could not, afford now, to stop.
Her dreams left untouched, with lottery card,
her bills were chance-paid, reminders hit hard.
She reached home depressed and slammed shut the door,
groceries unpacked, still spartan her store.
Pan-boiled, her cuppa, a tin-meal unmade,
flicked radio switch and heard of a raid.
A great haul taken, the shop down her road,
a full day’s takings, so massive their load.
She muttered, to hear her own doorbell ring,
slammed chain-locks aside, and let the door swing.
A young man, polite, discussed charity,
she fumbled with purse, but knew he could see.
Some paper he pushed, bare, into her hand,
“I’m Robin, ” he breathed. “Just one of the Band.”
Purple, brown papers attracted her eye,
puzzled, she looked up, to wish him 'Goodbye'.
Yet there was no-one, in place where he'd stood,
just glimpsed, down the road, the back of a hood.
Wendy Webb's Other Poems
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