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In synchronized slow motion,
glassy eyed, Stepford wives,
the ladies of the Post Office,
protectors of the Royal Mail,
purply polyester prim,
stir behind the perspex grille.

‘I saw one move!’ A child tugs at a sleeve.
‘Nae chance, son. It was an optical illusion,
a parallax.’ But, I saw,
I spied in the Post Office in Morningside,
the finger twitch, detach a stamp along its perforated edge.
All this I saw and more from pole position.

Newcomers stamp their feet, furl umbrellas,
agitate the stagnant air, crack a joke or two
as they join the sullen queue,
inch round the curlicue of barriers,
past travel goods and greetings cards.
You’re One Today. Congratulations on your Eighteenth.
Happy Sixtieth. Get Well Soon. Condolences.

Time without motion. Timeless time.
Tick tock. My time. My turn.
My parcel’s at the ready, securely sealed,
postcode in letters bold.
That’s when I hear the shutter’s deathly rattle.
Position closed.