I have nothing to do
so I take a tram to the city
to go for a walk among the shoppers.
First down the main street and
a man in a kaftan-shirt and dreadlocks
is crouched drawing Jesus with chalk
on the footpath. It is nearly Christmas,
after all. Then, onto the avenue where
summer-shorts hug women’s contours and
sway from side to side. The sun is hot,
even if the air is cold for spring
and warm for winter. I look at bargains
for running-shoes. There is a mobile-stall
selling Spanish doughnuts.
a back alley littered with small tables where
late-risers eat their breakfasts outside
artful coffee-shops. A bespectacled teen,
his tartan-shirt buttoned right up
to his neck, stands next to a doorway,
agitating, with a posy of flowers.
On the cobble-stones, a red-haired young woman clicks:
his face lights up, like an open refrigerator. Everything
suddenly gets louder: it is 11:10 of a Sunday.
issuing from a dappled corner is a huge pleasure,
so I stop to give him a coin. Somebody else
has left a muffin. Another, a paper-clip.
on the streets today, some empty, the
toddlers astride on their dads’ shoulders,
which makes it happy and more beautiful. And one
keeps on walking, past mannequins and
magazines, and a hand in his boyfriend’s
A cup of long black and it is back
on the tram,
Works by Whitman, and
a poem in my heart.