The round table is adorned with jewels of red and green,
peppers and olives and pastries and meats.
Don McLean croons softly in the background,
as he talks about guacamole and she talks about her weekend off.
The rabbit stares longingly at the table,
stuck behind thin metal bars,
as the summer breeze rustles the leaves of the dead plant on the windowsill.
Office workers wilt in crumpled white shirts,
children giggle as they trundle past on wobbly bikes,
tourists walk with jackets tied round their waists,
obviously unprepared for the hot summer of a cold country,
joggers plow past, punishing themselves,
so they can look good by the pool in Majorca,
and the old dog pants as he stumbles behind his sprightly owner.
The platform is blanketed in blessed shade,
the train is late, and it is too hot.
A middle aged woman covers herself in suntan lotion.
A young man speaks a foreign language on the phone,
perhaps calling to tell someone he’s going to be late.
A woman in a high-via vest walks up and down the platform,
watering the flowers with plastic containers filled with water.
The grass is so green,
like those old colourised black and white photos,
where the sky is impossibly sapphire.
The grass is dotted with the occasional tree,
with green and burgundy leaves reaching into the clouds.
But in the distance, among cards and plant pots,
lies several bursts of stalked sunshine.
Swimming through the motionless air
that hangs heavy on burned shoulders,
comes the distant song of the pipes.
With no wind to snatch the music away,
it rings out, slightly muffled by the heat.
And behind the band, there’s a soupy mix of bright colours,
which take the form of children as they near.
Sitting in a pink plastic pot,
on top of a soil stained plate,
there is a gnarl of dead branches,
surrounded by shrivelled brown leaves.
But in the centre of this decayed mass,
is a single, bright green shoot,
topped off with a small flash of pink petals.
Palms sweaty, room swimming.
Exhaustian has taken its toll,
the more you sleep, the heavier your eyelids feel.
The floor has rushed up to meet you,
it doesn’t spend nearly enough time with your face.
You cry out for your mother,
but the only reply is a tinny recording of The Mamas & The Papas.
They had come up professional,
with starched white collars,
and gold cufflinks.
Their job titles revolved around the word “executive”.
Their hands were manicured,
with freshly cut nails and buffered cuticles,
in a desperate attempt to scrub away the blood.
just as surprised,
to hear of your husband.
So tragic! So unexpected!
He always seemed so happy.
What did he have to be depressed about?
Anyway, the girls send their love,
and we’ll see you at Thanksgiving!
Claws in your shoulder,
fur tickling your ear,
your arm straightened,
the paw stretched further,
towards the delicious fishie suspended from your fingers…