This scuffed, wind-ruffled crossroads with a rickshaw and Canadian Pacific offices is what inspired my ‘Corner Store’ when driving home one frozen night we came upon a retail outlet surviving between two corporate-finance high-rise blocks in the business district. Up ahead, its shopfront window faintly glowed.
Dispensing machines stood arrayed outside. It was like a fridge door left ajar. Not one vehicle anywhere in sight crossed the intersection as we stayed there stationary at our stoplight.
With a shiver, it all comes back to mind, his ‘Street Scene’ where we might have been queuing outside to begin ghost lives, our current ones gone awry those minutes or long years before when, stranded here, came granddad’s wished-for emigration to that farther shore.
Biography: Peter Robinson is Professor of English and American Literature at the University of Reading. A Collected Poems was published by Shearsman Books in 2017 and his most recent collection of poems in Bonjour Mr Inshaw (Two Rivers Press, 2020).