Guest Poem by Ben Banyard

Ben Banyard lives in Portishead, just outside Bristol on the Severn Estuary. His latest collection, Hi-Viz, is published by Yaffle. Ben blogs at and edits Black Nore Review, an online journal of poetry and flash fiction - This poem is from Acumen 107.

Car Boot Sale Stall as a Metaphor For Life

Do you turn up at 8am, front of the queue,
car full of desirable items from an elderly relative
which savvy buyers peer at through cupped hands,
eyes creased, noses fogging the glass,
clammy at the thought of bagging a Clarice Cliff for a quid?

Do you set it all up on a damp-soaked pasting table,
send the spiders who call it home scuttling for cover
while you worry that your float is too meagre,
that your windy corner of the field is inhospitable,
that people are judging you by your bric-a-brac?

Are your wares one step removed from a tip run,
dusty rubbish even charity shops would spurn,
which would-be buyers ignore, worried that eye contact
will give you false hope on this waste of a day
when there are more important things you should be doing?

Is it two hours in, when the crowds have thinned
but most of your stuff remains unsold?
Do you hide some of it in your boot to save face
or start practically giving everything away
for 50p here, 20p there, the whole sodding lot for a fiver?