Dear Sir,

a beauty company sent me an email,
‘We win, you win’ it said, invited me
to purchase youth serum at half price.

Something I hate about emails
sitting black on white on screen:
comma after verb, mistaken for
philosophical pause – breath taken
when reading loud poems.

‘Please, do not reply’ it carried on
‘we hope to see you again.’
I have a hundred things to do
but rush to the bathroom,
see how deep my forehead lines
have grown since I last checked.

Skin tracks’ network show
how much I’ve won in forty years
of living too small, dreaming too big.

Maria Stadnicka is a writer, freelance journalist and lecturer. Winner of 12 Romanian National Poetry prizes, she worked as a radio and TV broadcaster. She has lived in Gloucestershire, England since 2003. Published poetry collections: O-Zone Friendly, A Short Story about War, Imperfect. Further details about Maria's work and portfolio available on her website Read other articles by Maria.