I Want To Talk About My City Poem by John Rolland

I Want To Talk About My City

I want to talk about my city,
Of her tired people who stride over her windy streets,
who have eyes wetter than western rains,
They work from the morning till evening
In arsenals starving for flesh and for sweats,
They walk nudes and without honor
Against vises which clasp their hearts,
I want to speak about my city,
Of these storekeepers who sell the past
To the visitors coming to plunder the rests of the wind,
Of these salesmen of roast chestnuts who the winter
Hours stay to shout in the cold wind
Cursing the anonymous glance of the passers-by,
Of these bakers raised at dawn
Who smile by selling warm croissants
To customers become foreigners of them own families,
I want to speak about my city,
Of her wild streets in the flavors of distant salts
Of her Russian, American, Indian sailors
With eyes cleansed by travels,
Of her tramps making the aumone with their mistreated dogs,
Of her playboys in short sleeves shirt who bring out their sunglasses
if the slightest beam cross the darkness of May,
I want to speak about my city,
Of her changing sky as a lost compass,
Of her beaches with the antique and pure beauty,
Of her gulls in the reassuring or irritating shouts,
Of her naval base where die too old battleships,
Copper-colored frigates by the redness of settings sun,
I want to speak about my city
As of an unspeakable torture in the other modern cities,
Of a city made ugly by the war and remorse,
A city identical to the refusal to be loved
Who cultivates its soul as a last garden
Near the gigantic ocean which invites itself in her fate…

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