I am a weaver. I slip between my fellow cords
and – half by accident, half in love – watch the tapestry
create itself. It is morning and Wellfield Road
is still in half-shade. It’s here that you see
a narrow pavement is never too narrow. Between
prams and binbags, signposts and the elderly,
I edge past with kingfisher electricity and precision.
I’m living for the near-misses, my pace quickens,
I motion my shoulders like the handles of a bicycle.
It’s always good to see their faces – the aghast,
the awkward, the indifferent and the almost invisible,
as our cords spin together. On my way back I prize
the bottle of milk hanging from one finger – I wonder
how well I will weave with this semi-skimmed lumber.
Then I see him: shoulders wide, ego astride a sense
of entitlement. He walks with bollards on one side
and binbags on the other – right down the centre –
with slow, precise steps. He looks at the space right
above my head – criticising each hair out of place
as he smooths over his that sits flat to his waxy scalp.
A young mother edges past tugging her child behind.
As he looks at her she immediately lowers her head
and she trips with her child into the gutter.
Her daughter cries as the tarmac scratches her knee.
Passing, I can see he’s almost smiling –
And to think, I almost dropped my milk.