See her reflected in those shop windows?
Mumbling grey granny, disrespected elder,
spectacled and zimmered, inching so fast,
faster than she should. Faster than breath.
Ninja quiet now, with crochet belt,
and a handbag roomy as a coffin
(her teeth, broken gravestones,
long since fell into gape of mouth).
She follows me to the gym.
Hear her now, on the cross-trainer,
knee knuckles clapping like castanets?
One Direction strains, but professional youth
can’t muffle that sharp clack of bony dice.
She comes into the toilet, into the cubicle,
with her array of specialised tools
rummaged from that hideous bag.
Thursday, she iced a single curly hair:
decorated me like Miss Havisham’s cake.
I groaned at that visitation from the crone,
the witch whose white is no good at all.
Biddy, fussbudget, battle-axe,
beldam sans merci, stop this stalking!
Quit knitting me into that pattern
of shapeless grey cardigan, weaving me
into you on that inevitable frame.
Fearsome old woman, begone!
P.S. Cottier is a hologram currently perched on top of a Christmas tree. She is cheaper than an angel and closer than a star.