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Poetry #127
(published March 27, 2003)
Sliding into Them
by Mary Altman

It's time for work, so I go
around the corner and bus #7
slides to a stop. I climb up
to the front seat in the upper deck,
so I can watch the backwards traffic
wind around corners. It's raining, and
I wonder why no one carries an umbrella,
deciding it must be an English thing—
They kin shove thir 'brollies up thir arse.
From North Bridge, since the fog hasn't breathed
everything in and blown it back out in an endless
cloud, I can see Edinburgh Castle reigning
on her volcanic throne over a city made
three-tiered by chunks of fallen lava
now dried cracked steps
cascading down and
around each pub.

I get off on South Bridge
next to the Royal Mile, surf down
a slick cobblestone wave of anticipation
to the bottom of the Cowgate and step
into Bannermans, the pub just below
the most haunted pub in Edinburgh,
where I work. Where I learned
first how to say burgh, butta
like a New Yorker
says butter, only
much faster—

Hi-ya, doll,
ya' winnin' t'day?
Oh, aye, feelin' fit, pal.
I step around behind the bar
and smell smoke sitting on stools
like the fog sitting on the tracks under
the bridges, and I pump the cask
three times and grab a pint
before he says 'Nother
point 'a eight-ay doll.

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by Barry Blumenfeld

Radio (from Mommy, part 3 of 5)
by Barry Blumenfeld

Seaman (from Mommy, part 2 of 5)
by Barry Blumenfeld

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