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Michael Pedersen
The Waterfront

The light hummmm
of construction sites waking
undresses the landscape
like new buds opening
or belts unbuckling.

In this bar, each of us
is just a boat in mooring -
tearing teaspoons over china
or listening to cowboy songs
compare love to wild winds.

At the neighbouring table a couple’s rowing
over proprietary rights; he’s thinking
whose hands have trespassed
over your boobs and she cogitates
just how many leases he’s taken out?
Some talk it through, others
make for the back door, buzzing
over the queer thrills in last words.

The old class based impudence
isn’t so fertile in the mornings - AM
squabbling tends to be softer and staler;
and living up to the names on ties
is a 6pm Cameo Bar conversation
for father and son combos
on Sunday outings.

It’s post the 10 o’clock curfew
when the words fall ill, swell
like hot water bottles, bloat
like old bladders; where the characters
are more desultory than roving rooks
and the pallor of loneliness
is plain to see.

I settle a riddle, then make my own
furtive exodus: Leith too like Portobello
has many faces - the charmer
the chanter, the chancer –
and all are fine by me.




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