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Letting Go of the Neighbourhood

by Darren Swift

The man steers through the city’s macrocosm,
ten million people beneath a billion stars;
empathy mirrored on a face that left
these tired streets a lifetime ago. He parks,
walks, drinks in his past. Looks at the locals.

“Indigo, outdigo, gwana keel demselves” mutters
the Jamaican lady on the corner watching youths
round the crack house door; their young faces
pebbled with acne,they enthuse on drug drawn
dreams with one eye on drive by dangers.

Wary eyed he walks past them, street swagger
relearned within seconds. Boarded landmarks
of youth; barbers, cinema, the café where
ice-creamed pistachio treats were tasted.
Somewhere in this shit his father survives.

Finally found the paternal figure lies guttered,
lynx bearded and lion maned, leopard liver
spot adorned; his cheap brandy shame browns
his shirt, yellows his shorts. The man stands over him,
unzips, lets loose his stream; then finally bids farewell.


Posted on 02/28/2007
Copyright © 2022 Darren Swift

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Philip F De Pinto on 03/01/07 at 01:34 PM

one supposes that this is the sort of stranger who bids us adieu with such streaming, that one would wish to discover, more than by mere providence, were that one lost and thirsting in the desert, run out of cacti and his one urine for to sate that thirst. nice compilation of words, and gritty, James.

Posted by Michelle Angelini on 03/01/07 at 10:03 PM

Wow, James, I wasn't ready for that ending. The imagery here is gritty and raw. The Jamaican woman adds the right tone to the scene you've set. I read it over and over again and like it more each time I read it.

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