Milner Place


The sun hammers the corrugated iron,
cracks the thin boards; but over the sea
the clouds push their black hearts closer

and it is discussed that the evening
will be a washing-out of the runnels of shit;
plastic buckets and old tins will find

their appropriate pitches, and the children
who go down to the city with boxes of brushes,
rags and polish, are near to becoming apathetic.

This afternoon the music is only anticipating
the drumbeat; aguardiente is opening the eyes
of old men and bright dresses are all the colours

of the desperation of hope. And this is a brief
time of the sleeping of spiders and a shining
of moonstones on the buckles of sad shoes.

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