The Flower Ladies of Tallinn

The sun rises over Raekoja Plats

Flooding the ancient square with pastel beams

As from all corners come a-shuffling

The flower ladies of Tallinn

 

Tourists glide past with steaming elk pies

And carved wooden trinkets

As the ladies who welcomed Hitler

(for he was a step up from Stalin)

Set up their creaking tables

 

The ladies lay out flowers and ornate berries

Picked fresh from the roadside

Arthritic bones and a century of memories

Begin another day of begging

 

Around the corner in Empire

Where the shots come in test tubes

And cost five Euros for a rack of ten

The stag parties whirl and crash into life

 

By lunch the crowds are singing

Across town the Freedom Monument

Is drenched in piss and lager

A rite of passage for British warriors

 

I walk past the table

And buy a bunch of flowers

But not from the usual lady

I am told she fell in the night

And has been replaced by her daughter

 

The sun sets over Raekoja Plats.

◄ trunk

a life sentence ►

Comments

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John Bastard

Wed 23rd Dec 2015 13:25

'A rite of passage for British warriors'--
as the new defaces the old, forever and ever
amen.

we are the sand that yellows lofes secrets

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Stu Buck

Thu 17th Dec 2015 07:56

thanks guys. martin iu quite agree. having lived in tallinn just before the euro and easyjet hit, then returning for my honeymoon two years later, the place was completely different. i havent been back in 3 years but it is now said to be the same as riga and prague before that. a great shame as tallinn is the best preserved medieval city in europe and is/was a quite extraordinary place.

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Martin Elder

Wed 16th Dec 2015 22:44

This is a gentle thought provoking poem Stu. I love the scenario of the flower ladies. Call me old fashioned but what I find sad as much as anything is the more cheap flight destinations are opened up the more places available for drunken Brits to invade. Good poem though Stu

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raypool

Tue 15th Dec 2015 17:07

Great quality and finesse with a sort of humble tragic twist. Something for every taste in this - you always have a way of demanding curiosity which is so nice Stu.

Ray

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