poem by Roger Craik

Arad, Romania


At ease on a cracking

splintery bench in the Serbian slums,

with the Old Theatre on the eastern side

flaking down into the street,

I’m savoring the early sun’s

clarifying warmth.

In the market round the corner,

boxy slabbed cafés are serving

rum as well as coffee to the men

who smoke all hours.

There’s only me, though, in the square.


The pigeon-throating air.

A fountain. Puddled, strewn. A concrete arch

with concrete soldiers issuing.


Loneliness, lonelinesses driven into life

down aching streets to twilight and beyond,

recede as if they never were

in another person’s past.


Hours, hours could pass without my stir.


Perhaps the river, later,

if there is a path.


poem by Roger Craik

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