Rachael Clyne

If Steve

 

If Steve aged twenty-five, about to go into a bar,
at the last minute remembered
he’d forgotten the gift he planned to give
to the Italian woman he met on the beach that day.

If Celine and her children hadn’t stopped
because the youngest needed a wee
so they went to look for toilets
near TK Max in the shopping centre,

If the couple had found a disabled parking place
near the shopping centre, where they’d gone
to look at smart TVs, fabrics for her
and socks for him,

If Chantelle hadn’t agreed to swap shifts
with Elaine instead of having her usual day off
and Elaine hadn’t arranged to visit
wedding venues with Brian her fiancé,

If Masoud hadn’t needed the extra overtime
as a security guard, instead of going
to his parent’s house as he usually did on Thursdays,
which was late shopping at the souk.

If Jamal hadn’t lost his job and found out
that his uncle who’d walked across Serbia,
collapsed at the border with Hungary
and Jamal hadn’t blamed everyone except himself,

who would have been here on Friday?

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