Ping Pong in the Afternoon

I see her on the Northern Line.
Knees clasped tight
she looks through me,
handles of table tennis bats
poking out of her handbag.

Later I hear her.
My office window open,
I type letters
to anonymous businessmen
click click click
and
across the way
she works harder
with slap! of ping pong bat
on middle aged buttocks
that whips my ears
slap slap slap.

I hear the men,
imagine eyes screwed tight, lips twisted
head shoved hard into pillow
ping pong bat rising and falling
slap slap slap on fat pink cheeks.
I click click click.

After work we gather and
she has a gin and tonic.
I talk shop with colleagues
pretending not to watch her
trying not to stare at
handles of table tennis bats
poking out of her handbag.

 

Paul Vaughan lives in Yorkshire with two cats and a wine-rack. His poems have appeared in Agenda, Acumen, Poetry Salzburg, Prole, Frogmore Papers, Obsessed with Pipework, Ink, Sweat & Tears and other places. Chief Editor of Algebra of Owls. Debut pamphlet due out in 2019.

 

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