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On the edge

Tim Richards www.iforbach.demon.co.uk

On the edge of Cardiff,
down by Rover Way,
a road next to the gruesome coast
lives the bag lady.
You can drive past
and see nothing but bags,
big, plastic, bin bags
amongst the abandoned car wrecks
and rubbish, the debris
of society today,
and believe that she is not there.
But she is there, the bag lady.
Sat quietly amongst the bags
reminding us that
there is no such thing as society.
She has moved outwards
from the industrial estate
past the travellers camp,
Further and further away
from human contact.
This is a landscape
of dead memories
of forgotten industry
of a past life.
It is a new road,
the bypass to a future
of a sanitised Cardiff Bay
raped of its history,
where business rules
and the rich live and gloat
in Disneyland apartments.
Heavy lorries rumble along,
sleek limousines sweep past
ignoring her as
she ignores them.
So, the bag lady is
an embarrassment,
a protest from another world,
an unwelcome comment
on Wales today.

 

March 2005

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