Telling Strangers, by Sophie Hannah

I’m telling strangers how I feel.
I simply blurt it out.
I tell them that my love is real
And pure, and free of doubt.

Some blush, while others beam with pride.
Yesterday, in the queue
At Sainsbury’s, I terrified
A lanky youth or two.

My heart is running wild, I say,
With need I can’t conceal.
I find it easy to convey
To strangers how I feel.

I’m sure it can’t do any harm.
They’re flattered; I’ve confessed.
They’re entertained; I’m spent and calm.
I’ve got it off my chest.

To you, I’d never dare express
The truth. I care too much.
There’s no way round this, not unless
You fail to keep in touch,

Ignore me, join the ranks of men
From whom I am estranged.
I promise I will tell you then.
My feelings won’t have changed.

Occupational Hazard, by Sophie Hannah

He has slept with accountants and brokers,
With a cowgirl (well, someone from Healds).
He has slept with non-smokers and smokers
In commercial and cultural fields.

He has slept with book-keepers, book-binders,
Slept with auditors, florists, PAs
Child psychologists, even child minders,
With directors of firms and of plays.

He has slept with the stupid and clever.
He has slept with the rich and the poor
But he sadly admits that he’s never
Slept with a poet before.

Real poets are rare, he confesses,
While it’s easy to find a cashier.
So I give him some poets’ addresses
And consider a change of career.