Metro, Line 3
Her two dogs cowered
when she stopped
to curse me
in a unfamiliar language
but for the one word she repeated
I said I didn’t understandrefused to look away.
Maybe I had stared
puzzled by what was in the baby sling
she wore – a silent baby or other small
animal, her own belly?
She might have been my age or
younger, maybe I caught her gaze
and held it while I thought of that?
she said, stabbing the word home
poking my cheek
with one grubby finger
her dogs cringing.
Her trousers were torn,
her feet ingrained with the city
through which she led the dogs
on frayed rope – lack can make anyone
crazy with sullen, impotent rage
and I’d have felt sorry
but for the sweet-faced dog
who whimpered, hunched back on its tail
as she pulled up in front of me –
I matched her stare, indifferent.
Lady, I’m no poor toothless bitch you can drag
into your loco world.
The Metro doors closed between us
she cursed, I stared –
Catherine Bateson, September, 2013
This may be my last Tuesday Poem posting for a while - I'm leaving Paris - so sad! - but moving on to London and from there, driving up to Scotland, back to London and on to Italy. I'm not sure where we have wifi. I'm sure there will be opportunities to blog along the way - but maybe not so many opportunities to write poetry! So, bear with me, please.
Check out the Tuesday Poem hub where there is a strong political poem by Gregory Philp, published by guest editor, Rethabile. And from here you can travel to other worlds. Travel safely!