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The Searchers

Cannibal seeks meal for special friendship.
Pensioner wants doll to be his wife.
Friendly girl needs escort for Barbados.
Widow longs to make new start in life.

Widower, who lost his wife to cancer,
Writes to say he truly understands.
Escort is already in Barbados;
Chalet on the beach, time on his hands.
Doll asks gentleman to make her British;
She will send her photo for keepsake.
Meal would like to meet before committing;
Cooking’s such a major step to take.

Cannibal agrees to meet — in secret;
Eating meal’s a risky thing to do.
Pensioner is thrilled by lovely photo;
Maybe he can make doll’s wish come true.
Friendly girl, who has a better offer,
Won’t be in Barbados after all.
Widow thanks the writer for his kindness;
Leaves her number, should he care to call.

Widower is plucking up his courage;
Turns from the computer to the phone.
Escort in Barbados leaves the café,
Feeling unattractive and alone.
Doll needs money, sponsor for her visa
And mister please when is the wedding date?
Meal has finger on apartment buzzer;
Still in time to choose another fate.

Dreamland achieved! Vast, secret playground
Where perfect strangers huddle and conspire
And millions of tense, two-fingered typists
Edge towards enactments of desire.

Audio file

Listen to this poem — read by Peter Hetherington