Monday, 3 August 2009

On Cathedral Green

All descended on cathedral green
for the first sunny day of the year:
a thicket of girls, legs pimply in the breeze,
zoned by several youths
throwing a rugby ball in shallow arcs,
and fat babies in sunhats -
little Buddhas hemmed in by
mums and dads, silently reverent -
a pair of lovers piled on a rug,
an elderly man upright on a bench.

Meanwhile, the indigenous relaxed
in the shade, talking easily while
one of them, lounging on a gravestone,
kept a close eye on the scene –
“Fucking watch it!” he yelled
as the rugby ball whistled past someone’s head,
his breath souring the air.

Slowly the group swelled in the sun,
twos and threes joined, all with their offerings
clinking in orange polythene bags:
an old man,
a pair of lovers,
several yearning adolescents,
and then arriving, a mother of twins,
pulling a bottle of gin from the pushchair.

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