Ben Banyard

Basket Checkout

Ben Banyard

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Only a brief flutter, we brush palm heels

and I redden as my fingers close on change.

Catch her eye, early 20s,

eyebrows black Groucho stripes

scrawled on a spray-tanned brow.

She's bored of us, the lunchtime press.

I try a grin, dry teeth catching my lip,

grimace as I faff with carrier bag handles.

A robot says,

Checkout number four please

I drop a coin, hear it chime, see it run.

Choose Self-Serve next time,

card-only payments.

Ben Banyard

Ben Banyard lives and writes in Portishead, near Bristol. His debut pamphlet, Communing, was published by Indigo Dreams in February 2016 and his poems have appeared, or are forthcoming, in Under the Radar, The Interpreter’s House, Prole, Popshot, And Other Poems, RAUM and Lunar Poetry, amongst others. He blogs at

Ben edits Clear Poetry, an online journal publishing accessible writing by newcomers and old hands alike: