Saturday, January 9, 2016

Three scenes from a sixties town


In Mc Stay’s window

there are four turkeys and two legs of lamb

hanging behind signs:


There is a side of lamb and a cut of round,                       

and Mary Hopkin is singing

‘Those Were The Days My Friend’.


Market day, a scatter of clothes in Emily square.

Scarved women are gulls

picking, pecking, digging. 

Shoes higgledy-piggledy,

their uppers and stitch-work bent this way and that,

fingers inserted to the toe.

For they have more coins than notes,

more copper than silver,

and always far less than plenty.


The old men are sitting, hunched against the wall,

replaying, over and over, in the half-light of the dayroom,

the footage of their lives.

A ray of sunlight is a projector beam that falls dead-
centre of the room. It seems to say, not only heat
but life itself is to be found somewhere else.

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