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Taipei Street Scene

Fragrant clouds escaping from

the round bamboo steamers

sausages hanging from the sausage maker's cart

who doubles as a shoemaker

under the eaves of a low green-tiled roof

the occasional greybeard, pale in his

long blue silk mien ao, a passerby

uniformed schoolgirls chatting

subdued behind eyeglasses, barrettes and

schoolbags heavy with texts to be memorized

toddlers in their pajama padded wrappings

like mini mandarins in pastel

run in and out of table legs

the clicking of kwaidz

the rolling of rice white mantou dough

the bowing of thank you, come again

the spurts of cycles and bikes

the clinking of coins and pans

and silent hands wiping table tops

shop signs reading up and down and sideways

bright primary yellows and reds

mingle with dust to achieve the right street color

and in that place where dust and color mix

to absolve the individual

on one of so many small backless

stools that make you feel vulnerable

I sit, anonymous.

© 2024 Gail Tirone. All rights reserved.

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