Locked in the garden
without language,
a dark skinned woman enters
to sweep debris from the sand and gravel.
I am sitting, with the resident dogs at my feet,
watching a rat navigate a bending branch
and iron grillwork. Men appear,
casting lines into the surf. Solitary,
golden-haired girls arrive,
then boys. In the dappled light
under trees in a public space
between hotels, women
hush their babies. Boys
soothe ponies for hire,
adjusting red leather harnesses.
My rat incites
territorial squawks
from the snowy parrot.

Donald Wellman | Mudlark No. 34
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