Quiz partners

Eric throws them together.
She’s new.
His team never showed.

She’s talkative
He’s not.
Words spill out of her.
Anecdotal workplace memories.

She has to talk!
Confession?
Was she friendly, snotty or a corner-cutting blank?
Impossible to fathom.

All Elroy hears
Are stories, stories of
Policies, procedures,
Roles, rules, responsibilities.
Of changes within the system.
Janet worked in the system
For forty-nine years!

It’s all about Janet.

He feels like showboating
‘I am your enemy, your worst nightmare.
I am every child you snatched from his mother
I am every adult you sectioned.
I am every person you stamped and labelled
As less of a person than yourself.
But it’s not like that.

She is seventy-three.
Her life is slowing.
She had to sell her campervan.
She likes hostelling,
Cooking in shared kitchens,
Walking the windswept coast.
So does he.

Quiz night gets better.
She knows a few answers
So does he. ‘
Us two’ does not come last.

Elsie Katz