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by John Stocks

I took my imagination for a walk
Unwisely from the port, the teeming streets
Were like my head, a restless cacophony.

Poverty screamed like a coyote,
Trash gathered flies where babies crawled
To play in gutters. Does anybody care
For children, in this wreckage of a city?
Torn awnings flapped for five minutes of repair.

I struggled to make a connection.
The first city of civilization,
Where the pharos dipped its light to show
All the wonders of the age, its library
A golden beacon of enlightenment?

An Arab guy was tugging at my sleeve
Urgently, clearly frustrated with me.
‘This is Alex,’ he said, ‘you need a taxi.’

Copyright © 2012 by John Stocks

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