RAPPING IN AMSTERDAM
Among the grass of Rembrandtpark
a flash of colour shone in the sun
and caught my eye,
a sliver of orange peel I thought,
but no, a piece of wrapping.
I picked it up:
Four or five boys of ten or twelve
walked briskly past me
rapping in Turkish.
Cha-cha cha cha!
A startled dog sprinted away.
They howled behind it.
The owner frowned.
Are these boys abroad? Are they home?
If we were to return, where
are we to return to?
And if we were each to buy some gum,
“Six sticks of Falım please, Ali”,
and read our fortunes,
what would they be?
Poet's Note: Falım, meaning “My fortune” as in “fortune-telling”, is a brand of Turkish chewing gum. Inside the wrapping of each stick of gum, you can read your fortune!