from Lochaline Stores

from Lochaline Stores
Nothing can be hidden from Lochaline Stores,
Supposing the Grocer’s has eyes and ears:
Not an addiction to scratch cards or whisky,
Not a partiality to a bottle of Chianti.
Not a dickey heart, not an icky stomach,
Not a forty-a-day habit, not a weakness for crumpets,
Not a feverish love of the Guardian newspaper,
Not you dashing in for Alka-Seltzer.
Not the book of first class stamps for your love letters
Not you turning back from margarine to butter
Not a stain on your laundry–coffee, wine?– 
Not your shaky I’m fine to the daily how are you?
Jackie Kay

from ‘Lochaline Stores’ in The Empathetic Store (Mariscat Press, 2015), by permission of the poet and publisher

Jackie Kay

Jackie Kay was born and brought up in Scotland. She has published five collections of poetry for adults (The Adoption Papers won the Forward Prize, a Saltire Award and a Scottish Arts Council Book Award) and several for children. She was awarded an MBE in 2006.

Read more about this poet
About from Lochaline Stores

This extract from a longer poem is one of the poems chosen for postcards distributed to libraries and participating schools across Scotland for National Poetry Day 2016.