I saw her in a market in Barcelona
One Friday morning
In the spring
And we know where a young man’s fancy
Lightly turns in that uncertain season.
She went on from stall to stall,
Laughing as she chatted with the sellers
Of tomatoes, fish and cucumbers.
She looked at me once, I thought,
But that was all.
I followed her as she shopped so happily,
Unobserved, as I imagined,
Or as I tried to be.
And then at the last stall of all
Her bag fell from her hand
Somehow, I don’t know how,
For the handle seemed secure.
But it fell, and fruit and veg
Two big onions ran away
As if they had decided to play
Behind the wheel of a car parked up nearby.
I rushed to retrieve the errant grapes
And oranges rolling like tennis balls
And at least a kilo
Of potatoes that were hiding in various places.
Then I looked her in the eye
And insisted on carrying her wayward bag
Round the market for the rest of the way.
After forty years I carry it still
As we go to the market on Fridays,
And she laughs as she stops and chats at every stall.