Esso

by Jane McKie

I dash from the pump:
unseasonable hail
has begun to javelin
on the forecourt,
perfume of petrol
turned to freezing junk.

Not far, but in those yards
I dribble out through
rubber soles,
collapsing at the till:
a bad place for tears,
for the certainty
that grief heals
only to become unstuck
beside foil wrappers
under striplighting.

But the stout boy’s kind,
hallowing my hand
with my change, my receipt,
giving me strength
to drive the hours home
in spite of the sleet.