Father and son both dressed as Charlie Chaplin.
waddling past the cafe, stop, a twirl
of opportunity and they waddle over,
begging cup tingling under every nose.
Nobody knows their farce: how long it took
to wash off the dust and blood, memories
of fractured cities, sights blasted
into memory. Now two poorly painted
faces: felt-tip side burns and moustaches.
Why Chaplin? Does the boy know him?
At the last table a spit of angry German
from the tattooed young woman, ending
in Deutschland! The father Chaplin calmly
breaks a vow of silence, thanks Germany,
tugs his son onwards, cane twirling.
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, 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.