“Still Life” — A Poem

 

Google Street View

takes me places.

 

It’s my first visit to the city.

 

Wide roads, bustling with cars,

trams,

pedestrians.

 

Modern high-rise buildings,

tall enough to impress,

not so tall as to intimidate.

 

Cleanliness.

 

I zoom into stores’ showcases,

wonder about the bikes

along the sidewalks

(so many of them are unchained!)

 

A young couple

is standing by the counter

at the ice cream and doughnut shop.

They seem to be talking to each other,

perhaps discussing the selection.

 

A beauty salon, or a spa,

offers hair removal, massage, yoga.

 

In a narrow alley,

potted plants in front of every door.

Small restaurants advertise their menus

in colourful pictures.

 

It’s partially cloudy,

but the sunlight is bright.

I see a woman

holding an umbrella

to protect from the rays.

 

On the walls of the YMCA –

an illustration of Noah’s Ark, with

silhouettes of people and animals

saved from the catastrophe.

 

It’s a nice, ordinary day,

in Hiroshima, 2014.

 

(Editor’s note: poet Shai Ben-Shalom, an Israeli-born biologist, examines current events in the Blacklock’s tradition each and every Sunday)

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