On the High Road

A sunny afternoon
on the High Road.
A parade of sorts.
Of short sleeves
and short dresses.
Of exposed tattoos
and soft summer fabric.
The pace is slow,
sluggish some may say.
In and out of
pound shops and charities.
Sitting at pavement cafes.
Steaming on a bus.
Face a gleaming.
Mouth as dry as tinder.
Windows open, air still.
Dead shops lingering
for longer than they should.
Missing teeth in a mouth
that’s getting older.
The sweet strawberry
of a vapers vape.
Fresh fruit, and
rotting vegetables
of a rubbish truck.
Heat rising in a haze
from the pavements.
It’s just like Greece,
someone says.
Only with less dust
and a lot more pollution.

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