Jen Feroze – “Something Like Nostalgia”

Something Like Nostalgia

After he died, they turned his shop
into a flat. Lace curtains
filmy enough to peer through.
A legacy of sticky fingers on the glass.

God, years ago we used to queue
out the door and down
towards the square. Jostling in first uniforms,
first glints of pocket money white knuckled.

Jars and jars and jars
on shelves that needed kick stools. A library
of gobstoppers and pear drops, sour apples,
cola cubes, orbs in every colour.

I remember his moustache. I remember him
in a surgeon’s white coat (can that be right?).
Other people used to buy shoe polish
and nails and milk – the trappings of adulthood
we refused to understand.

The butchers went next, and the greengrocers
on the corner soon after. The village now
seems thronged with ghosts. Sweets
and trussed chickens and innocent children
and bunches of carrots,
still smelling faintly of earth.

Jen Feroze lives by the sea in Essex with her husband and two small sleep thieves. Her work has recently appeared in Atrium, Ink Sweat & Tears, Ekphrastic Review and The Madrigal, among others. Her first collection, The Colour of Hope, was published in 2020. Find her on instagram @the_colourofhope and on twitter @jenlareine.