Thursday 23 October 2014

New poem: Cucumber

There was a cucumber in the lost property office.

It was found near the ticket barrier at the station.

No one came in to say it was theirs. The cucumber

sat on the shelf. It started to go soft. But still no

one came. Then it started to flatten out and go

mushy. The skin stayed more or less the same.

A bit wrinkly but still like a cucumber skin.Inside

the cucumber became goo. It was smelling quite

strong. A fruity earthy smell. After a bit more time,

it started going dark grey. And fruit flies flew around it.

Then, about six months after the cucumber was

put in the lost property office, a man came in and

said, ‘Have you got a cucumber?’

The lost property office assistant said, ‘I’ll have

a look in the book.’

He got the book out and it said, ‘Cucumber.’

‘Can I ask you where you think you lost the

cucumber?’ he said.

The man said, ‘No, I’m sorry. I got on the train,

got off the train and went home. When I got home

I looked in my bag and the cucumber was gone.’

‘Can you tell me which station you got on at, and

which station you got off at?’

‘Well, my problem is that I got on and off at quite

a few stations that day,’ said the man, ‘and I can’t

remember them all. You see I deliver stuff for


‘Do you deliver cucumbers?’ said the assistant.

‘No,’ said the man, ‘the cucumber was for me

to eat.’

‘Can you describe the cucumber?’ said the


‘It was green,’ said the man.

‘If I said to you,’ said the assistant, ‘that this

cucumber was found at a ticket barrier, do you

think you could tell me which ticket barrier that

might have been? You see we have to make sure

that people don’t come in here and claim things

that don’t belong to them. You might come in

here and say that you lost a gold watch. I can’t

hand you a gold watch, just because you say

you lost one.’

‘I haven’t lost a gold watch,’ said the man.

‘I didn’t say that you did,’ said the assistant.

‘I lost a cucumber,’ said the man.

‘So you say,’ said the assistant.

‘Can I ask you if anyone has come in here and

handed in a cucumber?’ said the man.

‘I can tell you that someone has indeed come in

here and handed in a cucumber.’

‘That’ll be mine,’ said the man.

‘No,’ said the assistant, ‘what you don’t know is

whether many people have come in here

and handed in cucumbers, in which case we

would have the problem of finding out which of

the many cucumbers belongs to you.’

‘Have many people come in here and handed

in cucumbers?’ said the man.

‘No,’ said the assistant.

‘Well, that one lone cucumber must be mine,’

said the man.

‘Not necessarily,’ said the assistant, ‘someone

else could have lost a cucumber and it’s their

cucumber that was handed in.’

‘Oh, yes,’ said the man, ‘I didn’t think of that.’

‘Well,’ said the assistant, ‘if you can’t think

where you might have left the cucumber, I’m

afraid I can’t give you the cucumber that we’ve

got here in the lost property office.’

‘OK, fair enough,’ said the man, ‘thanks very

much for your help.’