A Fox Crosses a Road One Evening in Soho
Wait for the light to change.
You are a child in the supermarket, lost.
Quake amidst the condiments, pray
for your name on the tannoy, the flurry
of Dad’s shoes to Aisle Two.
You are the till girl, zero hours. Stand
with empty hands, glassy face. Dream
yourself setting everything alight,
as the self-service checkout pontificates.
You are my grandmother in her last days, tiny
and brave, when they took her car keys away.
Stare at the laptop we bought you. Decide
you are too old and it is too new.
Bristle as I watch you from the top deck, dreaming.
Pour bleach on these streets! See the boughs of the trees
creep triumphant through bars and cafes. Peel
up the pavement! Free the long-flattened stargazing weeds –
Green. It flashes in your eyes, cold glass
in dark earth. Cross amidst a throng of tourists,
tramping through their Fridays towards the future.
Disappear. Not one person looks down