Independent in Reykjavik – New poem 1st draft

Independent in Reykjavik

We drop by the Red Cross Charity Shop.

I know what I’m looking for and walk quickly

to the rail of traditional knits. I’m familiar

with the layout now, I know where everything is.


I’ve been trying to decide on a jumper for days,

and after an age, choose a lopapeysa over a lusekofte.


The old ladies behind the desk are not bold with their English,

but carefully package my third hand sweater and smile.


To celebrate my decision, we eat pizza on the harbour,

and wonder why we haven’t seen Bjork yet.


At the hostel, a new guest has arrived.

A British bloke with a copy of the Times.

I panicked when I saw a rucksack on the bed,

that had earlier been empty.

But I’m delighted it’s not that hot, blonde

German girl that likes to walk around naked,

the one I pictured in my head.


We eye up the newspaper when he’s left the room,

neither of us daring to pick it up

and check what’s been going on back home.


We wait, and when he returns with a belly full

of sheep’s head and rye bread, we ask politely,

to have a look. He tosses it to us and we are upon it

like writers starved of prose.