Abingdon Street Market


I’ve always liked this market. It’s a whole world set apart.
It’s the outside on the in, and smells of spices in the dark.
I’ve often drunk my treacle-coffee in the café in the beams,
On its mezzanine, where pigeons build foul nests inside the steam.
Just observing human nature as it flows between the stalls
In search of faggots, chops and chopping boards, replacement cricket balls,
Cheese and pickles, books with covers showing women in torn dresses
In the arms of handsome lovers and such other published messes.
Conversations rise on thermals like the voices of the dead,
So many words, so much emotion, yet so little being said.
Buying hats, there’s always hats, although I never see them worn,
A bag of spuds and sprouts and artichokes and chickens force-fed corn,
And knitting patterns for the old ones, and for students ‘Books of Truth’;
All oblivious I’m watching from the shadows in the roof.

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