Hackney

Tuesday.
Hackney
smells like gravy,
bus flies past
a man who’s waving –
frantically hailing ’til we
slow to a halt
and he folds his paper
to save for later.
It’s under his arm,
and he’s gripping it tight,
then with his free hand,
he gives his Oyster a swipe.
The man with the blue plastic
bag is laughing,
the French lady tuts,
an un-trained dog is dancing
whilst its
owner says:
“Sit”.
Again.
And again.
And the 236 continues
and I stare out the window
watching
Hackney roll by,
listening to the chatter –
it’s the borough’s lullaby.

by Annie Ridout

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