The old man accepts a Lucky Strike.
- ‘At the Fishhouses’, Elizabeth Bishop
These finds, with no effort, such as
rectangular painted grille faces,
or how you’d be under leaves
turning now from green to gold,
are forming into a view.
Downtown, we’re beyond
corrugated fencing, at the lights,
waiting for traffic to disperse
along this city-centre boulevard.
Intent, a man and his son
are attacking folk songs
on acoustic guitar and accordion.
We’ll read our books,
too early, in the event,
for where we’re due later.
A translated ‘Hamlet’ quote
painted on a junction box
is further evidence
of disjointed time.
We’re in shirtsleeves,
smoking Lucky Strikes,
under the mountain’s
offer of orientation,
these early strata of snowlaid across its shoulders.
Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips