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Friday, 2 October 2015

A poem by Pam Laird

The Mud-Coloured Beret


He stands beside

A pyramid of apples

Close by

The market door.


‘Are these apples

fresh?’ he asks.

‘They are, I bought six

Only yesterday.’


‘Are you South African?’

‘No, I am a Kiwi.’

‘From the South Island?’



He is tall,

More than six feet,

His skin is clear

And olive.


‘Are you going

To buy

A bag of apples?’

I ask.


‘You speak,

So nicely,’ he says.

But his presence

Is not quite present.


I wonder,

‘Is he lost

Or sad, or drugged,

Or is he ill?’


He wears a

Beret, mud-coloured

Pulled low over

His ears.


There is no smile,

A guiless naivety


My face.


‘Is there something

I can do?’

‘No, no,

No, no.’


‘I must buy

The apples now, I

Thank you, that

You stopped to talk to me.’

Pam Laird

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