Gypsy in a Tent

a poem by tobias kerins, UK

A glass of London gin and an old mutton pie
The ravens of the tower do circle and fly
Flat cobbled streets with horses and carts
Traders wake up and the market it starts

The vegetable stall and the old bookseller
Gypsy in a tent the fortune-teller
The butcher with meat and the baker with loaves
A tailor bespoke with beautiful clothes

Handkerchief vendors people with hats
The street entertainer and his acrobats
Shoe-shiner rubbed as the shoes he shined
Loan shark hunted for borrowers to find

The local café that sold jellied eels
Children with laughter giggles and squeals
The jeweller he shone like diamonds and pearls
Street corners all cluttered with working class girls

The pubs were busy and the drink it flowed
But business on market had definitely slowed
Meat never cooked and loaves never sliced
Many remarked it’s much overpriced

Clothes never worn handkerchiefs never blown
The ravens looked on the nest they’ve not flown
Shoes just weren’t shined even money weren’t lent
Market trade began to fragment

The fortune teller with her crystal ball
Dealt the cards at her market stall
The cards weren’t kind don’t know where to begin
She too drowned her sorrows in the London gin

The market itself had lost its power
Ravens looked on from high up in the tower
Stalls they closed and traders they folded
Air turned blue with the language they scalded

The café shut down no more jellied eels
In a puff of smoke the fortune-teller reveals
That all is not well and the end is nigh
The market as known will say goodbye

High powered supermarkets and a massive out of town store
Pushed the market closer to death’s door
It’s a thing of the past tradition that’s died
A plague on communities that’s spread nationwide

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