The Salesman’s Monkey (Mary McGowan)





Child watched your smile, the old boy handclasp

She heard the easy patter, laughter

She didn’t speak and heard you sell them.

            The art of working rooms:

            The salesman’s wink with drink in hand

            Cigarettes to highlight gesture

            Stock props to make the sale.

Girl watched your form asleep on sofa

She heard your snarling voice, the cursing

She feared to speak and hid from conflict.

            The lie of happy home.

            An ever-present drink in hand

            Cigarettes well-used as buffer

            All plied to hold the guise. 

Teen watched and waited for some notice

She listened, eager for some guidance

She did not speak but ached to hear you

            Sage words were never spoke.

            Your drink was always clutched in hand

            Cigarettes you gripped with malice: 

            Tools used to craft a void.     

They came and joined with you in laughter,

Both cronies, strangers loved your stories.

All spoke their chat; your ear turned raptly. 

            No use of prop just charm.   

            The beers unhurried, drank with cheer 

            Cigarettes no longer wanted —        

             Recast as Good Old Roy.

Miss watched you with them and felt envy

She listened to your easy banter

She wished to speak but sensed before her  

            Indifference, no love.

            Sad monkey waited all her years,

            Yearned for warmth, some kindly word 

            To find she had no name.

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