Market at Dawn

Five AM. My eyes open to a crescent moon. I listen to birds welcome Dawn outside my window. Few are awake at this hour, but the ones who are experience the luxury of an empty market.

The potential of stillness.

Where street sweepers sweep yesterdays news into the trash and bundles of stories are wound up and rolled out at each new day.

Soon these sidewalks will bustle with life: feets of people, children, dogs and bicycles. A place where: the scratching of beer cans on pavement is background noise and normal. Where pigeons argue with sparrows for crumbs of roti, and the Rastafarian grill serves scorched red meat for breakfast. Where melons and squash are stacked high in piles waiting to tumble or be carefully picked. Where the scent of hazelnut coffee roasted at the Moonbean Cafe filters through the air. A scent that is almost seen – as mist is through rays of sunlight. A barista cuts mint and parsley from a terracotta pot on the patio. She reaches down to smell their freshness and wipe the dew between their leaves. A place where the streets glint shoals of silver fish in the sun. And my coffee breath is steam in the morning air.

Where packs of hounds have become packs with their owners and both are stray. Where toothless warriors rest beside grinning Pitbulls and let pigeons eat from their hand. Always, they are friendly – the children of the market.

A place where: the sun glints orange on glass window panes, reflecting the colour of the minds that live here.

Orange. The colour in between: caught in a mesh of society’s stark red lines and nature’s golden allure. The shade of misfits, artists – those who seek to paint something brighter but are caught in the middle. Who know not where they’re going or who they are. But where they belong? Only in the streets of the Market.

Orange. Misunderstood stands out. Searching, seeking, looking – up, down – which way? Up if you’re thinking and down if you’re feeling.

Up. Above the birds on the wire, because my mind is wrapped around it. Curled along your tangled edges even though they do me harm sometimes. I do not break, but take the dark look and turn it to light. Because inside, I shine too bright – and darkness will never be left alone here. To brew or fester, like beer that is over-fermented – I turn it to gold.

Such are thoughts in the Market at Dawn.

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