She breathed deep,
Jaggy at first,
And at her feet a pigeon pecked at pickings
While a bus shuddered close by –
Its doors folded open to the street.
She breathed out.
Her second breath was smoother,
And as people sped by
Hunkered under raincoats, rain tap tapping
In stereo around their ears,
The walking school bus
Marched hand in hand in high vis vests,
And she sat with cold bus-stop-feet.
She blew out an shivering ‘oh.’
Her third breath was quiet
As still as the gap
Between the ‘Caw’ of the rook
And the flap of a pigeon’s wings.
Behind her a shop bell tinkled,
And the smell of baked bread
Hung as heavy as coffee in the air,
Warm and steady
Like her out breath.
She paused a while longer.
Watching a line of charcoal cloud
Make a bridge between two tenements blocks
While a buddleia swayed left and right
In an unused chimney pot.
Dedicated to Susie, from PauseandBreathe