Peach Sky

people forgiving themselves in the day's heat
             sit
               like the old & sad woman
          at the fish market
                 whose cares
            weren't even her own.
who watched again, as the 
                         pigeons
                              scattered
                 away
like dying leaves in the late autumn
                     of the mind

and the woman looking out 
               from her window
                    with her unheard thoughts
      turning windmills in her mind
  at the forgotten river
       that she too would forget

and the squid lady 
                      slopping 
              her slippery slices
on a makeshift table of crates and stone,
stone,     that had stood still too long
and will stand still 
              some longer

and the stall holder's hands, too
like stone,
we threw money upon
       the cobbles of his palms

and the worn walnut 
             on the cobbled road
      that knew the city better 
        than I ever would
having been turned & twisted
         by that very place
   over & over through time

Porto, Portugal, 5th August 1994

From 'Tall Ships'