The lioness, the bait and the twist of fate

I’m in the city

And it’s great fun

But it’s breaking my heart a bit

On the mall this afternoon

A large lady sang the most beautiful arias I’ve ever heard

Her voice raised every hair on my arms

And bought me to tears

I had to shove my sun glasses down


People shouldering past

Looking at her like she was odd

Yes people!


Like a magnificent lioness


In a circus

She was amazing

She should have been on stage

With people paying at the door


A hat down in front and eyes on the floor

That hardly anyone paid into

I whispered “you are brilliant”

And she smiled

In the middle of a warble

And it was quite wonderful



Then I’m wandering along

Back to my hotel

With the sound of her voice

Following me along

When my smile slips to

see a girl

God she looked fourteen

On the outside

On the inside

Maybe 103

Standing pale legged

Long purple socks hiked to just over her knees

Feet shoved into high plastic heels

Like a kid playing dress up

Except she was parked

A human billboard

Outside a “Gentleman’s Club”

Her hair was long, brown

Ends blue

Eyelids the same hue

With tattoos of words

Crawling beneath her exposed bum cheeks

I wanted to be friendly

But not patronising

Say something that would send her a warm non verbal

non physical hug

But by the time I had my expression sorted

I realised

She didn’t see me anyway

And wouldn’t

She had a thousand yard stare

And hackles that stood up around her like a fence

I can’t blame her

People brushing past

Looking her up and down

Like she was some kind of meat

On a hook

Which was the intent


It seems such brutal sport

I went back into my hotel

Read a book for awhile then

Went wandering down again

I wasn’t shopping so much

As people watching

All afternoon she stood there

One leg slightly bent

Shifting gently


In those towering shoes

With her little feet

On an almost 90 degree angle

Strained ankles

The balls of her feet would have been on fire

Can you imagine?

And yet

Her face resolute

Not bored


In another world

And I hope it was better than this one for her

And then

A young guy walked past me

Hair askew, beard array

My eyes followed him for a beat

Because he was in a very pretty dress

Which I though was great

Though to be honest

It would have looked better

If he had combed his hair

Now I’m sitting here typing this not really poetic post

And my curiosity

Is stretched out before me

Curling like a cat

Sliding around my ankles

Come on


Off I go again

Down to the mall

One woman in so very many

Feeling deeply blessed

Because I don’t have a beard but want to wear a dress

I don’t have to stand in those damn meat hook heels

To pay the rent

And because I’ve learnt an important lesson

From a lady with a voice like a lioness

Who showed me how to sing to an audience

That may find my music


26 thoughts on “The lioness, the bait and the twist of fate

  1. This kind of stuff really tugs at my heart. I just wanna rescue all of them. Although sometimes people in these situations end up rescuing me, by showing me a picture of a different world. It changes my focus, alters my path, and ignites a fire inside me.

    Liked by 4 people

    • Absolutely – and sometimes I am filtering through my eyes not theirs – maybe she loves her job – maybe he doesn’t realise he is wearing a dress and is high maybe she was singing that amazing opera as a dare. Life isn’t always how we think but as poets and writers it’s our job to not just filter it but to commit it to history: So now three people are in a poem that will one day be famous….well they are in a poem anyway 😊 it’s like street photography except that I couldn’t fit my cameras in so decided to do it this way instead.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Rosaliene – the mall has it all from the forgotten ones that sit there muttering to themselves with an obvious mental illness to the designer label Goddess who is all’s by in a cloud of perfume and doesn’t see them. It is a microcosm of humanity.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I know Ray and the photo is just as telling as poetry. At the last moment it was a decision on the cameras – should have taken a photo on my phone but then I had the idea to write “street poems” instead. There is a great deal more filtering through the poet but – that’s poetry.


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