There are angels on the streets of Shawlands
in faded old anoraks smoking,
in black burkas eyes kohled and rolling,
in pushchairs strapped, jam-faced and screaming,
on pavements holding black phones striding, head-shaking,
in shop windows
consumer ghosts shimmering,
double-parked in cars, rattled fingers drumming,
out shop-doors bagbursting and scowling,
lights telling them go, pushing and shuffling,
lights saying stop, huffing and puffing,
mothers and babies,
mothers and their mothers,
mothers alone, wrapped up in their daily lives,
feathers bound in cotton and 30% polyester.
Agendas hovering, tasks completing,
missions undergoing furtive glances in microseconds
repetitive strangers brushing past for the thousandth time.
refusing to collide.
The uncollective unconscious,
a mass of unspread wings, excepting the drunk and the mad,
the men and women who sing and rail, who have heaven
in a bottle or a pill, sunspots who flare and die,
who scare the masses with their teetering song
reminding them to be unbound is to sometimes fall-
but falling is the thing we do when first we learn to fly.
And I want to approach each one and say
“There are angels on the streets of Shawlands,
and it is time to unstrap your wings.”