Daily Archives: September 3, 2016

We don’t have sidewalks…


a sidewalk sounds like
a trodden edge of dust frilled with weeds,
a few mean inches where the horse shit doesn’t reach,
in a curling sepia image of a western town
where drawling cowboys;
losers in bar room a brawl,
are flung out through swinging doors;
and lie cursing on the ground;
where dirt encrusted-gold-diggers, up on their luck
swagger into to town to weigh their haul,
sell it, get rolling drunk and have their pockets picked
at the rollicking house of ill repute,
where course, corsetted women whose pushed-up bosoms
hint at imminent release,
lean from whore house windows, teasing men;
promising to please them for an hour or more
if they have the dollar and the horn,
enraging prim ladies, whose fingers tighten
around their husbands’ arms
as they walk sideways
along the narrow pass;
the trodden sidewalk
where the horse shit
doesn’t reach.

In the UK
and maids gave up
emptying chamberpots
onto the ground below
and we kicked
street urchins
out of the way, giving us
the space to raise
our reeking
with concrete
creating the wide, clean
pavements we British
prance and parade
along today.

Posted (cheekily) for The Daily Post #Sidewalk, only to discover that their system appears to be down – but it was fun writing it…

©Jane Paterson Basil