By the Thames
It’s the final burial ground –
the place where they go to die;
lapping dirt-brown waves;
tourist couples bidding goodbye.
Ships slicing through soundlessly,
as smog adorns the sky.
A pigeon hobbles by on its stump,
while a gull lets out a mournful cry;
beside benches, an old man holds out his cup;
on the cobblestones stands a solitary bride.
A homeless girl leans against a pockmarked wall
as suits hurry past without turning an eye.
Buses honk, young people run –
how utterly meaningless is a green light.
No time for stopping, nor
a place for a man to call ‘mine’.
Bricks by old hands and shiny panels by new,
but all understood, understand the bite.
Some barely have a choice to make;
but some once came for a new life.
And here is where their dreams go to drown.
They had hoped in vain for a lie.
It’s always been a city where giants grow
and upon weaklings’ corpses dine.
She has always reinvented herself,
and yet, still, a sadder sight.