(West Germany 1982)
The bicycle thief of Hamburg has no arms.
She sits in the lobby, waiting.
Smoking filtered cigarettes
Held between her toes –
After the ballet would be her time :
From midnight to dawn, charms
Bicycles from their chains, frees
Them from railings and fence posts,
From street poles and the bumpers of parked cars…
Like children after a pied-piper, they would follow her.
Later, she walks agin
Those same streets alone, to watch
People holding nothing but empty chains
Where they had expected a bicycle;
The look on their faces
Prompts the true reason for her actions,
For at that moment,
So as to hide her laughter,
She could forget herself and
Wish for arms.
from Searches for Magic, by P dLyons, Belfast Lapwing,2001
ISBN 1898472 59 9