CELEBRATION OF LOCAL: ROBERT MADDOX-HARLE

At the Roundabout - Lismore

Sitting at the roundabout
my thoughts go `round and `round,
the ever watchful plastic horse
guards the saddlery door
and dreams of better days
when she was free to run;
her hound's-tooth blanket flaps,
tearing at the chill winter breeze.
Nearby an ageing painter dabs,
green and yellow ochre,
a new face for an old building.
A nun scurries into the watchmakers'
I wonder why she hurries
I ponder why she watches time,
perhaps her holy marriage
is marked in seconds,
her faith measured in hours or days.
The fragrance of warm bread,
rising from the hot bread shop
dances on the cool breeze.
Beside me the virtuosos, hopeful
swell the conservatorium walls,
they compete discordantly, obliviously
to the raucous traffic chorus.
An angel from hell, leathery
thunders by
his black chrome horse fuming, angry.
A mum with child encapsulated
pedals `round and `round
on an aged and rusting bicycle,
bits dangle from it
like the dangling thoughts, lost,
of the silent shoppers.
People stare at me,
suddenly their private thoughts
Stop!
What is he writing about?
Me?
I stare back blank-fully
then move my thoughts around
onto the roundabout
and go `round and `round.

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