Early Edition

Early Edition

They stand on the pavement

waiting.

 

Up before everyone, larks and all,

they stroll down the road ever slower

struggling not to beat the first bus from the depot

and failing because they must get out.

 

Today they are too early

again.

 

Unlocking a grill-protected door

paint-flaked from too many winters,

Ray nods with a yawn

acknowledging their vigil,

silent knights, avoiding eye contact,

as if hiding ancient secrets from each other.

Inside, on the counter,

‘The Mail’, two copies of ‘The Sun’,

one ‘Telegraph’ ready and waiting –

and a space where there used to lay an ‘Express’

until old Bob left them.

 

Moments later

what might pass for a rush is over.

Ray returns to his tea.

 

Nodding farewell to each other,

the Mail, the Suns and the Telegraph

make their separate ways

back to the echo of empty houses

on the edge of the estate;

off to begin their day of memories

and waiting.

 

Tomorrow they will beat the alarm again

– please God –

and shuffle down the road

for the newspaper that signals

another day survived.

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