am, pm by Sharon Larkin

She decides to face the wrath of her teachers

rather than try to silence the conscience

she knows will scream at her in the night.

At five to nine, Ellen turns back from school gate

to bus station, to pay her forgotten fare.

He knows she’s waiting in the rain

but he’s up to his neck, might as well

drown for sheepish grin as lame excuse.

At five to three her dad pops into Betfreds,

places his last tenner on Wet Nelly in the 3.30.

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