pays much attention, receives little,
despite his years of witness to the bright parade –
babies, boffins, students, shoppers,
meeters, makers, workers, walkers –
the whole brilliant buzz of you.
He has learned the Art of the Chocolatier,
knows intimately the Land of Books,
the stories the clicks of your bicycle wheels
relate, the shush of sheltering leaves
above your fragile heads.
All hours, all weathers, he watches over you,
glad from time to time of your sweetest gifts –
red pom-poms for his heavy boots,
a blue balloon to dangle from his resting hand,
a traffic cone to warm his cold stone head –
keeps safe, perched on his knee,
someone’s drunken midnight daughter,
welcomes the small boy who stares
into his inscrutable eyes
to find his one and only need –
for you to stop, just once,
let go your busy work and settle here
beside him. Sit. Be still. Be stone.