Extra time

We drove to the used car dealer,
parked up just outside of a thirty second radius
in the shared forecourt to a handwash company.
Four men with buckets looked up, but only briefly.
We strolled across their view,
a deliberately slow and casual pace. No rush.
I pointed out the car we were after.
We stood ten feet distant, surveyed it.
‘Rub your chin,’ I told him, and pointed out a scratch.
He said, ‘You don’t have to point.’
I replied, knowingly, ‘They have to see me seeing.’
The obligatory two minutes passed and then
the sales door opened with an electronic beep.
‘Can I help you gents?’
I looked up from where I’d been waiting
in an examination of a scuff on the rear bumper.
The salesman said, ‘Don’t you worry about that.
‘It’s due to go to the paintshop.
‘When it comes back it’ll look good as new.’
He said it would take about a week.
‘Come back and look at it then.’
So we left our number and turned to leave
and saw her waiting where we left her.
She was still to be with us for a little bit longer.
And we laughed when we got in because
we were each of us secretly delighted.
A little extra time before that book got closed
and became part of the things that had once been.
And, perhaps, a better ending.

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