A Different Toy; Dog Walking in Krakow by Matthew James Friday

A Different Toy

I see the gun first:
a blackened Kalashnikov type
in the hands of a boy,
rocking it from side to side

as his family cheerfully cross
Piazza San Michelle in Lucca,
once a Roman Forum filled
with Centurions and slaves.

Father smiling as if in a dream,
mother staring up at the blazing
white walls of the church
of San Michele in Foro, two

siblings skipping along beside.
The young recruit looks as serious
as any Paradise-promised terrorist
tensing for a tourist massacre.


Dog Walking in Krakow

Tail between his legs,
back legs stiff with fear
he faces the stairs. Behind
his owner wrapped in age
and sighs, tiled hard by too
many tourists. She rams
his rump so he staggers up,
whimpering all the way home



Matthew James Friday has had poems published in the following UK and worldwide magazines and literary journals: A Handful of Stones, Bolts of Silk, The Brasilia Review (Brazil), Cadenza, Cake Magazine, Carillon, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal (Hong Kong), Dreamcatcher, Earth Love, Eastlit (East Asia), Erbacce, Envoi, Finger Dance Festival, Gloom Cupboard, IS&T (Ink, Sweat & Tears), The Journal, The New Writer, Orbis, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Sonic Boom, Third Wednesday (USA), Of Nepalese Clay (Nepal), The Peacock Journal, Pens on Fire, Pulsar Poetry, Rear View Poetry, Red Ink, South Bank Poetry Magazine, The Dawntreader, We Are a Website New Literary Journal (Singapore) and Writing Magazine.