The Coiner’s Delicate Proposition, In Practice

Up the rickety old wooden steps
at the back of
Madam Bovary’s Love Emporium,
the skinny Coiner silently treads.
Shifty as a runaway,
black carrion crow eyes
darting left over the handrail
to the darkened lane below.
Entering the dimly-lit backdoor,
he removes his greasy,
well-worn, half-gallon top hat,
and grins, repulsively, in the direction
of the Proprietor of the Establishment,
who is sat at her desk
in the open-doored office directly opposite.
He shadow-slinks
the hallway between them,
removing, as he approaches,
a heavy, oilskin bag,
from somewhere deep within
the murky depths
of his manky Inverness topcoat,
and hisses, in an upbeat manner
“Tis another hundred half crown pieces
for you to gently persuade
the Barristers and Magistrates
of this fair Borough
to convert into, good as gold,
Banker’s Notes, my petal.”
Then, pocketing a sheaf
of aforementioned
King’s Head stamped papers…
he retreated, without further ado,
back to the Dockside Workshop
from whence he’d, lately, slithered from.

Paul Tristram is a widely published Welsh writer, who’s currently up to his elbows in Magic, and long may it remain this way. Read other articles by Paul, or visit Paul's website.