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JAN, JEN OR JEAN by Thomas McColl

Arts Richmond

Online - 18 February 2021

JAN, JEN OR JEAN by Thomas McColl

JAN, JEN OR JEAN by Thomas McColl

I hadn’t seen her in years.
Her name was Jan, Jen or Jean,
I couldn’t remember which.

My face lit up like a fruit machine
when she caught my glance
as we passed each other on Southwark Bridge.

“Hi, Tom,” she said,
and as if she’d pressed PLAY,
I felt compelled to take the chance.
The names began to spin inside my head –
Jan, Jen, Jean.
I pressed STOP too quickly –
I had little choice –
and settled on Jean.
“Hi, Jean,” I said.

We passed.
I pressed COLLECT,
and got a sick feeling in my gut,
as the name Jan,
for first prize,
flashed before my eyes.

 

This poem features in Tom’s book of poetry, Grenade Genie.

‘ABOUT TIME’, the 2019 anthology of shortlisted entries from The Roger McGough Poetry Prize. Copies of this Anthology can be purchased for £5 including P&P from Arts Richmond.

http://www.artsrichmond.org.uk/event-detail.php?eventid=8045&catid=2&id=43


Jan, Jen or Jean

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