by Pamela Newham
Somewhere in the back streets
we come across a shop, dimly-lit.
We push the beaded curtain aside.
A small girl, pink sandals abandoned
on the floor, watches us warily
as we examine vintage teddy bears
and shelves with paper-thin cups
and hand-bells, tarnished by time.
Mother Mary, framed, gazes down at us.
But the girl in a white lace dress
does not smile. I point to a bear,
ask, “How much is this?”
She shakes her head, looks down
at her discarded sandals.
So we wait for a moment then leave.
What was it? What was it today
that made me think of that shop
its bears, its bells, its sad-eyed child?