Drums Along Green Lanes

Saturday afternoon, Green Lanes Palmers Green,
A slow monotonous drum beat
Diminishing the buzz of shoppers and cars
And striking my ears like a rumour of war.
A small procession ahead, with banners,
Red and yellow, suggests some cause
Which could chime with my leftish disposition
But the drum arouses an antique dread,
Maybe a collective unconscious memory
Of men-at-arms, men-at-drums
So sure of their superior strength
They announce their advance with a din.
My discomfort is slight yet palpable
But I am accoutred for jogging
Even drummers won’t mess with a jogger
My trainers are my sanctuary.
My age though is Will You Still Feed Me
A little old lady if I’m honest,
Therein also lies my immunity
And now the procession is before me.
The banners, emblazoned with pizzas,
Alert the public to the local Hut:
Delicious food and amazing deals
Are only a few clicks away.
Level now with the young man drumming,
I throw a glance at his djembe
Which responds to his percussive attentions
With a hawkish, martial thud.
A young girl, cheerful, Euro-Afro-Asian,
Smiling, puts a leaflet in my hand;
I read of the pizzas of Palmers Green
And hear her benison ‘Have a nice day.’

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