Friday, 13 October 2017

Уличният цветар/The street florist

We’re making our way, as you do,
back home from the Women’s Market –
though not up to speed with vocabulary,
we’re empty-handed turning out
onto Boulevard Slivnitsa.

Except that beyond a fishmonger’s
late-season catch blued with ice,
a sharp, sweet smell of chestnuts,
belts, plates, German accessories,
you’re taken with bucketed bunches
she’s brought from her garden
beyond the edge of town.

This one or that, it will sit
on our kitchen counter
through an Indian summer
we’ll be told another name for
as we piece together a language
and the words falling into place
will bring new things home.

Beside the carriageways
directing traffic east,
you’re squinting into sunlight.
We’re nearly there, as always.
At the crossing, you hold up
what you’ve exchanged
for the coins in your pocket,
these migrant flowers,
these transplanted blooms.

Image: Marina Shiderova; text: Tom Phillips

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