by Liz Trew

I see a woman step out of the shadows.
She waits for the traffic lights to change
then hobbles into the road
squints at the sun

she drags her club foot between the idling cars
turns to the drivers behind their windows
touches her open mouth and empty belly
cups her hands:

“he roars his engine    he looks away
she combs her hair     she looks away
they turn to talk           they look away
she mouths no sorry   she looks away

“today this lady opens her window and hands me her change:
a handful of silvers to warm my pocket
enough to buy a full fresh loaf
the sweet smell of money and bread on my hands

“bread enough to fill my belly
soft bread to feel and to share
enough bread to keep under my pillow
bread like the loaf of my foot”


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