O n P a l m e r s t o n R o a d, D 6
They think in Tagalog.
Small and dark and sombre they walk
Along Palmerston Road.
They think (in Tagalog) of their Pacific home.
It is bright there and colourful
Birds swoop over rubbish dumps
Where small children scavenge until they are old
Or pretty enough to be whores for sailors.
The ocean is beautiful.
Forests cling lumpily to misty mountains
Like unrolled carpets waiting to be laid.
The word is patience.
Grey American warships wait patiently
For orders to attack some place.
Muslim rebels pray patiently in jungle camps,
Praise Be Upon Him.
The skies are beautiful.
Silver jumbos full of sex tourists
Circle the airport (patiently) awaiting turn to land.
Yes, the Phillipines is a peaceful patient country.
Ireland is another.
Palmerston Road is a particularly peaceful road.
I walk there, and watch, of an evening
How small and dark and sombre
Phillipina nursemaids push white babies
Through this wealthy corner of a poor world.
They give way to my passing on the pavement,
No doubt because I'm tall and white.
It's not a good feeling, that.
But I am patient.
My job is not to feel good, or bad,
But to watch and see and write
The silent nudges and sinister winks of the times.
Just lookit there !
How the expensive buggies mimic those expensive cars
Parked snugly behind electronic gates
As if the baby already plays
The childish game of being rich.