Bob Beagrie
My Street

The street is depleted except for a man sitting
on someone else’s step eating a sandwich

kerb puddles with cloud faces
quiver in suspended migration

and the dull clunk of a car door closes
on the musty light of a long grey day

The street, which could be in Ithaca
devours the hour, gathers together
its opposing distances

into an armful of damp laundry as the man
chews his sandwich and the windows stare
rendered purblind to the rest of the town
around each corner, the park, river, valley
evening’s rustle over a stark night

The street keeps hidden in the sprawling blizzard
of cris-crossing ways, held static

between two nowheres

and holds itself in sparrow camouflage
so as to remain unspotted by those
who would measure it for judgement

manufacture reality for another tired documentary

The street disguises all kinship
to the Barrow in Carlow, to Craigeivar’s fairy castle

to the submerged farms of Mirpur, the palm trees
of Asmara, the bomb-shells of Aleppo
to sufferings, mirages, last hopes
to the stony roads and the high fences;

our man has finished his sandwich
and heads off to find his place –
footprints connecting quiet cloud-faces
at rest in suspended migration
at rest in suspended migration