Children's Playground, Istanbul

Walking down the old hillside steps
to the waterfront
We, my student and I, came upon an old park
With spreading chenar trees
On one end of the grey water dreamt Dolmabache Palace
in the rain
This end homeless children from the West
Slept overnight on dry maple leaf beds in their thirst for life
Which really would spell death in winter
We sat in the children's park
amid swings and chutes
Peering through the fog
Watching the poor throw a Sunday fishline to the water
Two women sat gossipping about the price of butter or
The quarrelsome neighbour or this and that
The child in Red Riding Hood red
entered the children's playhouse
cleaned it of leaves
and spilled down the chute towards us:
Two old men
desperately trying to stave off death.

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