Sunday, June 25, 2006

bayswater... a poem

By Emman Usman Shehu


I looked for the bay
I searched for the water,
surfacing from the tube station
a stop away from Paddington
the place of my first initiation,
and found a neighbourhood
of cold stares
even for the broken
Sally at the edge of the alley.
One of their own,
at the wrong end
of fortune,
clinging to her sad smile,
clutching the nearly empty
McDonald’s pack,
next to her ragtag
in a Marks and Spencer bag.
I pay her for the smile-
this generous welcome-
remembering our own forgotten
tribe of the broken
from the fringes of the desert,
to the shorelines of the ocean,
clinging to an inspired doleout.

*BAYSWATER is taken from the collection Open Sesame, by Emman Usman Shehu. Reproduced with permission.