Shopping Centre Herd

Meeting, greeting
Looking for seating,
No place to stop
Ready to drop

Moping, sloping
Shopping and hoping
Kids in tow
Where’s left to go?

Look down to text
Where to next?
Don’t know why there’s no reply
Call on the phone, can’t we go home?

Term starts tomorrow
It’s spend and borrow,
The latest kit
Or the kids won’t fit

Teenagers in groups
The fashion troops,
Brainwashed by brands
Cash in their hands

Pensioners gaze
Crowds are a maze
Need some quiet
Nowhere to find it

A place to eat, wait for a seat
Time to rest, out of the heat
Overheard words:
“We’re all part of the herd”

Context: Composed after “people watching” (and listening) in the Grand Arcade, Cambridge, UK, the day before the school term resumes.