Late Afternoon, Aoyagicho

About this time everyday

when the afternoon sun

expires in a bright yawn

over the treetops,

peace falls on these streets,

warm and heavy and

swimming with dust

beaten from mats

flung over leaning balconies.

A weary peace,

hobbling, senile

and spittle glistening

on a frayed old cardigan.

An old man out for a stroll,

with stubble for hair,

bowed knees,

a face etched with

ancient lines of ease,

who noone

pays any attention.

Nor do they see

the cracks in the

pavement, the earth

bursting through with

wild clumps of grass

waiting for the moment when

at last the old man

carks it.

And then the bedlam riot of

brutal youth can

once again begin,

amidst the collapse of

stolid bourgeois cities.

At the corner,

an old man catches his breath,


his hand against the bent lamp-post,

and children are running,

running and screaming along the

path and

down into the gutter

where new shoots poke through. 

Copyright, Ricky Barrow 2014

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