The Heart of The City

She seeks out the eyes

with a misdirected smile.

Steps quickly in her way,

around puddles on the ground,

still, like pools of sky,

reflecting the grey facades

of this old part of town.

Sentinels standing guard.


Smart as she’s become,

I can’t help but wonder

where she goes,

what she does;

the why of vulnerable estrangement.

She stops for just a moment,

looks up at the street signs.

She’s searching for something,

deep in the old part of town.


How am I watching her?

Why would I still care?

When she crosses

on to a side street,

I know too well now,

her destination.


The city hides its heart.

It protects it

by building up

and making those places

we’ve forgotten,

almost sacred

in their scarcity.


Another block,

another left,

she’s slowing now,

steps calm, collected.

The rows of old, grey storefronts,

roofs overhang

and drip water.


Then she turns,

down a blind alley

and I am sure

of her destination, now.

Only a few

would know to come here,

for it is a hidden thing,

not meant to be found.


She steps past refuse,

garbage and litter

and halfway down,

this shadowed corridor,

there is a space

of shining sunlight,

out of place in the gloom.


She steps towards it

and the air changes;

cooler, softer, more gentle.

She walks up to

 a garden gate,

so out of place

in a city alley.


It opens silent

and she steps inside,

beholds the beauty,

 of a single tree

in a tranquil garden.

She disappears

from my vision,

into another world.

She is gone now,

into the heart

of the city.


HG – 2018

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