A mountain glows, pink, behind the station,
beyond the arch that signs the entrance to our ghetto.
Distance shrinks. Turin, outpost of Northern Europe,
clutches at the Alps that keep it south.

These streets are generous, polluted
by the waste of dogs and cars,
spared from gridlock by de-industrialisation.
Harbinger of the nation's social future, this mixing pot
stirs from torpor under winter morning sun.

Outside my local synagogue, its para-military guard
casts a wary eye on commerce: shutters rise
on Black Sounds café, Asia Market grocer's,
Philippine phone centres, the African Video store.

Unwelcome all. Immigrants, in this land of emigrants,
revive the economy, enliven stark suburbs,
pay the pensions of those who despise them.
Here, too, with its people, the South
redeems its debts to Northern bankers.

Evening, Via Roma, the smart promenade:
consumers strut their stuff and eye each other's wares.
Here in San Salvario, the consumed wait on corners
for delivery: Afghan gold, coca Cali, angel dust.

Bryan Murphy

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.

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