Dusty afternoon street
That you can almost smell
Baked grey by the sun
Not that soulful warm cake smell
But a dry, lifeless smell
The kind that sticks to the soles of your feet
And pretends to be tiredness instead
When you come home after another day
At that place that pays your bills
That place that lets you live
In this dusty tube-lit flat.
But when it rains -
That street - suddenly it smells even better than warm cakes
It smells like renewed hope
And the vapour of long-held secrets
And it makes the feet that tread on it
Walk with a spring
That's what happens.
And when it rains -
That tubelight sputters and gives up
Shadows dance across your dusty flat
Transformed at once
To an elven nook
That suddenly sprung up
In the midst of this soulless city
Cool, wet, green, growing
Fresh, moist, new, glowing
All that happens.
And the tiredness at the soles of your feet?
It has long since lost the battle to rain-soaked mud
That squirms its playful way in.