When Susan Met Freya
(Freya Najade is a German photographer living in East London. Read more about her at: https://www.freyanajade.com/)
Anonymous Sunday .......
The young woman with the cameras
hanging from her neck like medals
is not a German tourist seeking directions.
She is collecting faces around Hackney Central
and she likes your hat. It makes an impression
like the voice you are about to use.
The hinges creak, the lid opens slowly
and all the old toys climb out.
They’re yawning, rubbing their eyes
and making all the right noises.
With an accent like a glove of Teutonic welcome,
you speak Westfalen for this photographer from Dortmund.
You pose and chat and pose and chat
while your language skills do the smiling
and she uses pixels to colour in your pencil outline.
Normally faded, your image sharpens
and you realise that the accent, like you, is a survivor.
Confidence joins the pose to remind you of scenes
where your reputation shone like new shoes
walking around the City of London.
Her compliments mute as she checks the camera
so you translate yourself back into English.
We were meant to meet.
The emailed pictures will be of the real you,
not the one accepted by other lenses.
You catch the bus home, listening to the toys
as they chatter to each other in German
and you let them play together until bedtime.
Anonymous Sunday .......no.
Freya has given this one a name.

Susan Wilson

Susan, by
Freya's photograph of Susan

If you have any thoughts on this poem, Susan Wilson would be pleased to hear them.