When they came out, blinking in the summer light
noise swelled in the streets. Shouts from neighbours
they’d forgotten, unfamiliar traffic, a roar from planes
stitching the clouds. Shop-shutters rattle while queues
elbow-jab and jostle, markets unveil their tarpaulins,
pile their goods. Pavements and roads filled with people
shaking hands, hugging. Some stood still counting
the gaps and some waited in doorways and gates
with nowhere to go.
Some burst out of doors
stretching their mouths and fingers, grasping everything
in reach, cramming clothes, shoes, toiletries, past teeth
and tongues. They crowd roads, tangle the traffic
to gridlock, swarm over roofs, break windows, tear tyres
with their teeth. They storm into stores, clear the shelves,
eat baskets, fittings, tills, stagger through doors, still hungry.
Some watch from their doorsteps,
step back inside, close their doors, pull down their blinds.
Angela France’s publications include Occupation (2009), Lessons in Mallemaroking (2011) and Hide (2013). Her latest collection, The Hill came out in July 2017 with Nine Arches Press and has been developed into a live multi-media poetry show. Angela teaches creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire and in various community settings. She runs a reading series in Cheltenham, ‘Buzzwords’.