Red Square

from Prospects of Leningrad

In the square that half the world associates
with blood, we’ve come beyond the confines
of our Cold War fears to stand upon its
rain damped, gloss grey cobblestones.

The red flag streams above a Kremlin tower,
a purpose and a history behind no word
need comment on. The wind that blows us here
has forgotten all those winters that were hard.

Try to see the lines of missiles, bombs,
the bannered crowds, or feel the fall of soldiers’
boots. You can’t. Light pours off cathedral domes.
A limousine with darkened glass makes off, its tyres

hiss it past. People smile for snaps.
Adjust their hats, their furry wraps.
A casual place, run with the minimum of fuss.
The policemen stand as purposeless as us.

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