SUMMER MEANDERINGS

A summer of leaves and grass.
The dust of City roads.
So many people on the pavement.
A spanish cab driver brought me home.
The washing machine is broken.
Hand washing is drip drying
in the bathroom.

I watch you from the window.
You are tall and slim
Wearing a trilby hat.
We are married twenty five years
And still loving,
Despite the ironing, or lack of it.
Our cat stays close to us.

Now and then I fear
There won’t be another summer.
When I went out, the cab driver
Was Bulgarian.
He wore diamond studded ear rings.
Everyone lives in London.
A fine tuning of accents various.
An orchestra of people
Whose music throngs the city.

Unaccustomed sunshine extends
The daylight, streams through
Our lives, wraps us in golden
Warmth.
Eid celebrations in the street.
Women in bright dresses.
Young girls sparkle.
Bangladeshi, Somali, Turkish.
Our neighbourhood is East London.

Happy contrasts.
Youths idle, ear phones plugged in.
Eyes on small screens, workless.
Their future looks grim.
They are young, living for the moment
Their mates and when to score.
Shop keepers sweat behind counters
Of convenence stores.

Around our flats, greenery
Much is growing.
Too many cars line the kerbs.
Hard to imagine the Gaza Strip
Israel, Syria.
We are removed from wars
Yet apalled by them.

Outside I see a black boy
Carrying many balloons.
A child punctures one.
It cracks like gun fire.
Excited voices from the street below.
Someone plans a party
Later people will drink.
Loud music may dominate the street.
It’s a strange peace.

There are many celebrations
And protestations.
Voices mainly from the media
And occasionally embassies.
Ignoring Facebook in this senior
Phase of life.
Thinking when will he mend
The washing machine?
The scent of curry surges along balconies.
An ambulance howles in the distance.

Trees wave outside the window.
The running feet of children
Who sound happy.
A large woman shouts into her mobile phone
As she rolls along the street
Then vanishes.
Two young men wheeling suitcases behind
Where are they from? Where are they going?
A question for us all
On a July evening in a city
We are lucky to be part of
In two thousand and sixteen.

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