Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Yellow Slicker

On this fourth day in a row of rain
There is a sameness to the streets broken only by the odd
Brightly painted house - the way those who pass by
In tan or black trench coats look back at the girl
Wearing a yellow slicker. The yellow slicker,
A gift from her aunt who knew London would be wet,
Having lived there herself just after The War,
The Europe she had known transformed to a state
Of the mind, no longer Central but Eastern, far away,
Bombed-out, depopulated, at least of her kind.

But for a girl of nineteen with American thoughts,
Traveler's cheques, a boy at home, a university
Address, the decline of the West compells less
Than each step she takes through the London rain.
Even these British so accustomed to their weather
Admire the girl in the yellow slicker, as if she
With her uncovered streaming blond hair might shine
As the only sun they will see all week. Now,
That's the kind of history she likes to hear.

*poem by Stuart Dischell, image via Shutter Sisters

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