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Jeannie Baker’s A Walk Through Hyde Park

The man with the sandwich board that says

‘Psychiatry is an evil it must be banned’is softly spoken and carries

a brown leather satchel. It only contains

two things: a cheese sandwich and a picture of his wife.

A dog cocks his leg, claiming the park

while his owners lie a few feet away.

They look at each other, his head

in her lap while she sits up. She is wearing

an orange dress. Their conversation is serious.

A young woman in a floral-printed skirt

considers her sketch pad. A handbag

flops beside her, forgotten. The pencil reprises

its movement, a battle for clarity

between dark grey and white.


The man standing nearby

is wearing a suit that is two sizes too big.

A paper fan is open just below

his toupeed head. A black, white and red

checked shopping bag dangles from his left arm.

He is only a few steps from the young woman.

Look again.

She is sketching him, his insouciant smile, his steady hands.

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