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where the northwesterly blows

Posted by jan oskar hansen on July 14, 2010 at 7:16 PM

Where the Northwesterly Blows (memory of a town)

In the small park with gloomy trees, near where the factories used to be,

was a bust of a man’s image on a plinth. I think it was made of bronze,

the head was brown when not striped white by seagull droppings.

Mother said he had been a Mesèn; she liked using odd words, desperately

trying to keep afloat in a world of tinned sardines in oil and mackerel in

tomato sauce. I took it to mean a rich man kind to working people and had

donated this sad little park surrounded by damp factory walls; a place where

the workers could sit and enjoy the sun. The park was only open Saturday

Afternoons and Sundays, one couldn’t have people sitting there during work

week. A child climbed over its fence and drowned in a tarn of green algae.

The park was eradicated, just as the grim factories were thirty years later.

Life was bleak in my town, one neon lit advert, on the night sky “Jesus Saves.”

Competing with the stars, and a persistent rumour that the man in the suit

shop wore ladies underwear.

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