Paris Exposition 1900

How strange to see them moving
on the other side of
that mirror’s deep wound.
See how this one’s long dead
image gives a staccato bow to the
jittery lens; he tips his hat
while his face displays the bright
sunlight of the esplanade.
How naturally they slip into
this scene of innocence; it almost fits.
That one over there, faceless,
tapping a cane as he strolls away,
and that one, just coming into frame,
tilting her sun hat forward,
yawning in its shadow.
And out beyond the crowd, the
Javanese girls milling between a
native dance display, and the
pavilion of the Bedouin warriors
brandishing their mock swords;
they too had conquered the world.
The strollers pass, full from
visits to the Orient and the dark Zambezi.
And the young men, grown bored
of trips along the moving sidewalk,
loiter in the cool shadows of the
dark tower’s brooding arch.

Copyright Ricky Barrow 2013


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