For some reason the card reader 
declines the woman's debit card
and she makes a feeble show of 
checking her small, sequinned purse.

But the cashier says he needs 
to check if the machine is working 
and pays for the carton of juice,
which she chose after deliberating

for ages in the aisle because 
out of everything on offer
there was nothing more that 
she desired than knowledge

and she has passed over 
wild apples spoiling in the gutters
and on disused railways tracks
wherever she’s walked this month

but is still green when it comes 
down to the smoke and mirrors art  
to lift a litre of 'crisp apples 
selected at the peak of ripeness'

pure juice from concentrate;
taking comfort in the normality
of shopping and buying a bit of time 
from bleak rain-beaten streets.

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