they pinned the badge

that once was yours

to the ties of my apron

and all at once,

I was Bonnie

It’s only temporary

they’d told me

as I traced the

unfamiliar edges of

you, clipped above my chest

we’ll get yours to you next week

they’d said, as I wrote down my

postcode and address

but for a time,

I was Bonnie


you didn’t fit

me right at first

like a new pair of shoes

I wore your name like

I was Bonnie

wondering how tall

you’d been, how you’d

worn your hair to work,

I’d spend my time filling

up the salt shakers

guessing at why you’d left

I started drawing

cat faces on customer’s cheques

because I thought it was

something I’d do if

I was Bonnie


what an unusual name

the lunch-rush punters

would remark to one another

over their penne positano

and pinot noir, while I smiled

dutifully and cleared

glasses around them,

nimbly dancing between

tables, discreetly, playing

the game, content that

I was Bonnie

so that when the time

came to wear my own badge

I wore my ponytail a little

lower, and it felt false to keep

drawing the cat faces and when

my turn came to fill the salt shakers

I couldn’t help but think

of how I missed

being Bonnie


[Jenny Constable – @JennyLConstable]

Image courtesy of Aike Jansen.

Model: Hajar Fargan.


The rest of the stories in qmunicreate #11 can be found here.

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