Tuesday Market in Lynn(coming from North End)
Sometimes we'd go by Devil's Alley,
where the houses sagged and drooped like teeth
and no rain would never fall
but mostly we went the long way. There to stop
to buy cooking-chocolate at Southgates shop,
round by the fort, to walk on the solicitor's wall.
And turn you down past the pub, to the market
where the voices flowed up the street
like they was still burning witches.
With the briefest of glances, and a creak of basket,
we was in: to the crowd. To the up and down
of sight and sound, 'hello missus', and the smell.
'Hold my hand'. Past carpets and brasses,
Pink Elephants and fabrics we'd go.
And, the cooking-chocolate shrinking all the while.
Everything at nose height. Part dragged, part bribed,
part scolded most the time; 'til you stood on the step
of the hot dog van, eyes wide
knowing next was toy stall. And the auctioneer
with his jokes, and what he would not take
for the plates and cups he'd often break
tossing 'em up high. Hold my hand, 'hold my hand
I don't want you to get lost,' while I talk to this woman
I hardly know. 'Yes hasn't he grown'.
Weaving through the women there feeling up
and weighing out, and all is chatter: 'til fruit
where the market ends, and the town begins.