(seasonal Poems) Christmas In Hong Kong (1981) - Poem by Janice Windle
That Christmas Day in Hong Kong
the sun gleamed on the plastic Christmas trees
the rippling flags, the signs
like vines hanging from the upper floors
in Nathan Road.
Below, we moved through the congregation
of shoppers, looking for the holy grail -
the best price, the perfect negotiation
that you believed was waiting to be won.
We walked from shop to shop in the December sun.
“Best price? ” But there was always doubt:
you could not fathom out
where the bidding for the watch
ought to stop -
always another shop
might offer more, ask for less
and you could not second-guess
those wily men, abacus in hand,
waiting and engaging
in the one-man price war you were waging.
Now I think I see the reason
you would spend the festive season
in obsessive bargaining.
You have the timepiece still
and the power of your will
is reflected in its face -
though I no longer wear your wedding ring.
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