Working in the City

Working in the City

Today I saw a blind woman
Running for the bus,
Her long stick scraping the ground
In front of her as she waved it down,
Facing in the wrong direction.

Last week I saw a young man
Lying in an alley.
People looked curiously and walked on.
I prodded him awake and he said he had
been drinking. It was ten am.

This morning on the bus
I saw a woman pull a dictionary from her bag
Musty and yellowed with age.
She looked through a page of ‘A’s
Before gently shutting it and slipping it back.

Yesterday I passed the brothel
On the corner near my office.
A tattooed lady loitered
By the open door, dim light behind.
She didn’t give me a second glance.

One day I saw a pregnancy test kit
Discarded on the ground.
The two pink lines were quite strong.
Someone was ecstatically happy, or perhaps not.
Thrown away or accidentally dropped?

I walk around the city because I am bored.
My manager says that a good admin assistant
Would have found out so many things.
I tell him that I am not a good admin assistant.
He says “I know”.

March 2008

 This poem started in March of 2008 during a brief stint as an admin assistant, but has been added to since then with more observations from my walking around the city.