I hung about, biding my time and watching from a distance.
A grey haired woman approached and was turned away, and in response her feet turned inward like a pigeon and her knees jiggled with barely reined-in excitement.
Ha! Keen-o. I thought, as she walked off, embarrassed, and I edged a little bit closer so as not to miss my chance.
“Get there early” my friend had warned, “they said aim for 11:45am, before the queue starts”.
The clock neared 12pm and as if by magic, other people nearby who I’d had down as mere casual bystanders made a beeline for the van. Word had obviously spread.
It works like this. You queue up and, when called, approach your designated chef and place your order.
Who’s it for?
“It’s for me.”
“London with a dash of ain’t life grand, please”. Your chef talks to you a little, asking questions and scraping around for any extra information he might need so he gets it just right.
“Ok. That should do it.” he looks down at the sheet of paper dotted with ideas and comments, “come back in half an hour, and it should be ready” he says, and you skip off to await the results.
In the end, the Poetry Takeaway delivers what is surely the best sort of poem – one written with you in mind. And one that doesn’t require close reading analysis with an accompanying text book.
The result? A lovely warm little feeling and your very own 15 line verse read out loud by your designated poet – sorry, chef – before being packaged in a little envelope, stamped, and delivered into your hands.
Nicely done, Poetry Takeaway. You can come again.
PS. Today was the last day. Just in case you go hunting for it along Southbank this week. But if you’re a bit jealous of my poem, then I do a nice line in Haikus. Just let me know. I’ll sort you out.