Donna [Three]

‘They’re moving us, folks,’
He says on Sunday. Donna feels a pinch on her shoulder.
‘We’re out of coffee,’ Mary hisses. Her voice
Was bubbly and thick. ‘Coffee?’
‘Could you?’ Mary cocks her head towards the door. The car is freezing.
Donna keeps her gloves on.
The high street is quiet, nuclear quiet,
Save the fluorescence of the newsagents. There’s a pile of soggy
Newspapers out the front.

‘Morning, Aggie.’
Aggie wears a pink scarf and knitted gloves. She has a red beret.
‘Heating gone?’
‘Aye,’ says Aggie. ‘Your lovely Kiera, she broke it.
It was smelling. She gave it a kick. Then, she cried.’

‘She’s a full-time volunteer, isn’t she? It was hardly
The heating’s fault.’

‘She lives with her parents.’

‘She’s afraid to move away. Afraid to get on a plane,
Get moving.’

Donna rattles the coffee granules. It’s loud
And satisfying. She counts the coins
With her eyes.

‘I heard about the church being moved again,’
Aggie is saying. She opens the till,
And her breath is bright, like fog
In headlights. ‘It was inevitable. Like the tide, Aggie.’

‘What will you all do?’
‘Become very well-read.’
Another school group
Arrived on Monday. Kiera stood at the back,
Watching, as Donna passed out the tools.
‘Is this the place where that old lady drowned?’

‘Didn’t she fall through the ice? What’s she doing,
Doing that?’
‘So, just drop the bulb
Into the hole
And pat the earth around it. Gently.’


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