I always look up to spot the good bits: the odd
castellations on top of an Edwardian hotel, the white
pediment above high Victorian keystones, the set-back
top of a thirties block like the bridge of a liner sailing
out of an Art Deco poster.
Walk steadily, a straight line, even paced, disturbing
no-one, yet people stride across me, force me to halt,
look down, frown, I flick my shoe, catch their heel,
they stumble, glare, as I shrug, raise eyebrows,
feign apology, smile.
There’s been an accident outside the church, ambulance,
police, blue cordon siphoning traffic, a stretcher, oxygen
mask, splint, broken shoe, all that’s seen through a rush
of paramedics, people lean on barriers, part of them
wanting to watch death.
A woman runs in front of me, laughing, knocking
my arm, trips as my foot snakes out and I catch for an
instance the black eyes, blind to me upon the road,
and she isn’t laughing but wailing No No No
as a policeman runs to her,
guides her to a car, pushes her head under the rim of the
door arch, and the dreadful stare trying to see the figure
in the street under tight grey blankets, turn my back,
glance up at a Catholic Jesus, the gash of colour on the
lips, like the slice of red on the roadside tuft of hair.
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