Helen Lehndorf: “Ways out”

Édouard Boubat, Plutôt la Vie’ (Choose Life) , graffito, Paris , May 1968


Lately there have been complaints
about our night-time meanderings.

We sellotape roses on city walls,
write civic-minded graffiti on park benches.

We get things so very wrong
but I am substantial — not even this wind will blow me away.

When we get home from the police station, I swallow down my vitamin pills
like they are the answers to the questions I cannot ask.


Today, we give you a day off grinding,
some small hand-made things, a brown cake.

You are too young to be weary of birthdays, but the windows
have bars. The city has clamped shut over you.

You are a weather report: scattered at times, cloudy.
Tomorrow, you will begin your escape with

a teaspoon of rubble,
a ride on the train.

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