Lynley Edmeades

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Cregagh Road

Saturday and the street is lit up with activity,
sunlight on the western side, the arousal of that.
There’s a preacher offering me healing
on a glossy brochure, here’s an old man
watching me taking it and swiftly moving on,
a list of chores inside his head and a disciplined trot.
There’s the bell of someone leaving the wool shop
finishing her sentence as she steps out the door
with a bagful of thermal potential. The florists
have laid out their pastures, plastic pots
of cyclamens and premature shrubs, one
for this much or two for a little more. I stop
and scan for herbs – mint or thyme. Only
rosemary here, that I rub between finger and thumb,
take a sniff with me, passed the bakery
with its scone-stacked window and on
to Nicole’s Cafe. It’s small and full of people,
breakfast smells – sausages, bacon, the pork
fattiness of that. They give me a scone from yesterday
to have with my coffee, and I’m back out the door.
There’s a man outside, hovered over his full fry
in case I pinch a piece of potato bread with a lick
of that brown sauce. And here’s everyone else, on their way
towards Sunday – quick, before everything shuts.

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