I find a collection of short stories by Sartre
in an Oxfam shop. The cover
is a print of a grey stone wall.
At each end this cover turns
behind the wall. Shadows of faceless
men throw everything they have
at the wall, stretching from side to
side until their fingers bleed into the flaps.
I read The Wall, page by page,
holding each story in my hands,
weighing each one in my head
letting it settle before I move on.
The stories have little hope,
a lot of loss, no kindness.
I'm unsurprised: it's Sartre,
it's the ordinary, split apart.
© Marilyn Hammick
published in The Glasgow Review 2010