Islands by Pippa Little

The streets teem with us,
we are so busy, sprinting,
squeezing paper cups
observing etiquette
of time-starved, tailored days
that says we must not look down
on soiled, damp pavements
nearby our feet
for islands have risen there overnight
dark, huddled shapes
quite still against our restlessness:
and if one of us might pause,
offer coffee or some coins
and the island flowers
briefly, pale fragile bloom,
we, the rest of us, only go faster,
keep the gaze
safely at mannequin height –
unseeing, we need never know

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