Dreams And Plastic Smiles
The accordion player was from Eastern Europe.
He was there each morning
on the promenade in the south of Spain,
He plays popular songs
with an unremitting plastic smile.
A little further along
sits the beggar with no legs.
He is also from Eastern Europe.
He sits there every day
with an unremitting plastic smile
and a cardboard sign
written in English and Spanish.
I wonder what lit the fuse
to set them off on their incredible journey
into the unknown.
I wonder if the smiles fade on the way back
to their new homes.
I wonder if the dreams have faded
or whether they scrape along
as the men scrape along.
Or perhaps they’re as vibrant as ever,
full of hope,
surviving in the mild winters,
ready to blossom like the cherry trees
in the spring.
First published in New Reader Magazine, March 2018
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