Her toes convey the rapid drift
of ground and yellow leaves as when
glances at her shoes, and glides by me
en route through park and city garden,

Primrose Hill then Camden down
to Hyde Park Corner where I find her,
sweeping by serene, apps on, all-go.
My way is more pedestrian.

I tramp the morning paving stones
among a crowd whose faces mirrored,
mostly, sunk in a beguiling blue,
thumbed texts and services

belong to work and sleep and tube.
Not me. Reflecting on the mortar’s grain,
dangers of the kerb, a biker’s mate
who calls dispatch: Um,

E’s been absolutely bitten to bits
by bedbugs.
No! Man. Is that a fact?
And at the Devonshire last night,
taps ran cold on a punter didn’t plumb

the locals’ view for harping on the global.
Even off the Euston Road pubs hold
a median of courtesy
and can’t abide a show off. Big mouth

giving everybody grief. Poor soul,
dazzled in the traffic lights of his own
Go Stop Go, cannot get on
he makes such halting progress.

Two salesmen in the park slow down,
banging on, every busy buzzword
and here no breach of etiquette.
One says: She’ll come to me. It’s lovely,

I don’t do any outreach.
And the runner comes between us,
spirited, disappears among
the trees with easy countenance.

Dominic James